One of our jobs is to read all the cricket news. As a result of this, cricket books covering recent events aren’t all that appealing to us. When we’re presented with familiar information, our brain tends to drift off and do something else, leaving our eyes to do the reading unsupported.
Still, if anyone knows anything about the last Ashes series that we don’t know, it’s Andrew Strauss, so we thought we’d give this a go. It does suffer a little from the fact that he’s still playing and so can’t really lay into anyone or make any particularly jaw-dropping revelations, but it’s still a decent read.
It’s helped by the fact that it’s a good story. We don’t mean that in the one-eyed ‘go England’ sense. We mean that it’s the story of a team that goes from being bowled out for 51 by West Indies – which is where the story starts – to recording a pretty damn amazing victory in a place where most England teams have died whimpering. That’s the climax. There’s also a slightly off-kilter prolonged epilogue that covers the World Cup, which is less joyous, but equally enlightening.
However, the story’s well-known, so the extent to which you enjoy this book will probably depend on how closely you followed the goings-on leading up to and during the Ashes series. We followed that period pretty intently and we still got a fair bit out of this book. It was nothing major, just a slightly different view of a few of the players based on pretty minor anecdotes. We like that stuff though. It fleshes out the characters we see on TV.
Finally, if you don’t buy it, this book is worth finding in a book shop so that you can see the astonishing picture of a mustachioed Kevin Pietersen in the player profiles section at the end. It’s probably the best mugshot we’ve ever seen.