Who Wants to be a Batsman?
I haven’t scored any hundreds, but I’ve given away a few. And I’ve seen a few more. This story is about the players like Richards and Tendulkar and Pietersen and de Villiers and Sangakkara who made those hundreds. How are they able to consistently crack 90mph deliveries to the boundary, deliveries that many of us can barely see? What makes them so good? How do they control their emotions when the pressure is intense out there in the middle? And, for us normal mortals, what is it like to be walking to the wicket to face a 6ft 6in ogre, fearing the worst? This is about the triumph and torment and trials and tribulations of the men who try, and sometimes succeed, and often fail, to make runs for a living.
Twelve Feet Tall
Tony Ward's story is a tragedy of a sporting career unfulfilled. Hailed by the Irish media as the new George Best of rugby following his pivotal performance in Munster's stunning 12-0 win over the mighty touring All-Blacks - which in itself is one of the all-time greatest Irish sporting successes - Ward became a giant of Irish sport. His surge to fame portrayed him as Ireland's next glamour boy; twelve feet tall and adored by the public. But this dazzling beginning culminating in winning his first international cap for Ireland, would then be subsequently blighted by internal feuds with the powers that be in the IRFU and lasted right up until his retirement. Now, for the first time, Ward reveals in depth (including official correspondence with the IRFU) the shocking events that took place. The nature of the game at the time allowed certain elements within the ruling body to have a negative impact upon his burgeoning career. A career which ended with just nineteen caps but which rugby people across the world admitted should have been far in excess of that. His beautiful articulacy and insights, which have made him one of the foremost journalists writing about rugby today, also come to the fore in this riveting memoir of his career. But it is his revelations which will leave you shaking your head and wondering just how this could have happened. In telling his story fully for the first time, Tony Ward dearly hopes that his experience will serve as a warning to all sporting authorities everywhere that the natural skill, talent and potential of developing young sports stars will never again be mismanaged or confidence submerged in such a callous and uncaring way. This is his story.
The Cool Impossible
Eric Orton has spent a lifetime learning about running and the limitless possibilities of the human body and mind, and now he is ready to share his knowledge in a book that will open up a new world of achievement for runners everywhere. For Orton, this is a chance to instruct and inspire. For the running reader, it is a chance to make amazing new strides.The Cool Impossibleis intended for runners and aspiring runners of all levels of ability and experience, from those contemplating their first steps, to seasoned marathoners seeking to unlock the full range of their capabilities. Starting from the feet up, Eric guides the reader through his technique for building the perfect running body. With characteristic enthusiasm and directness, Orton will draw on the inspiration of the Tarahumara Indian runners and take the reader through his devoted training programme, complete with advice on nutrition and real-world applications, as well as Orton's concept of The Cool Impossible, the belief that 'the greatest reward from running is the opportunity to do more', not just in running but in life in general.
The photograph was splashed all over the front pages of the newspapers: Stuart Broad's astonished face after a brilliant catch in the slips helped him towards a remarkable spell of eight for 15 that as good as won the Ashes for England. Once more, England were playing an exciting brand of cricket and giving their fans plenty to cheer about.Now, in Broadside, Broad explains how the side bounced back from a very disappointing World Cup to rediscover the form and passion that led them to an unexpected Ashes triumph. Only a few weeks before, there had been calls for captain Alastair Cook to step down, and for Kevin Pietersen to be recalled to the side. For Broad, too, there were battles to be fought, including recovery from a serious injury and regaining his confidence as a batsman after suffering a horrific blow to his face. After a moderate series in the Caribbean, England began to find a new approach against New Zealand, which they carried through to devastating effect to win the Ashes.Now one of the senior figures in the squad, Broad talks about the key factors in the comeback, and the challenges and excitements in the life of an international cricketer. With revealing behind-the-scenes insight into the England set-up, Broad takes the reader into the thick of the action as the team went from the lows of World Cup disappointment to the highs of Ashes victory. Along the way, they inspired all who saw them, with their infectious enthusiasm and positive approach.
Colin Ward spent much of the 1970s and 1980s on the terraces of football grounds around the country, and following England across the continent. It was a time when passionate support of your team did not mean wearing the team shirt and subscribing to your club's TV station. Instead, it often meant having to defend your part of the stadium against attacks from opposition fans, confrontations with the police, and some decidedly hair-raising encounters. Although, post-Hillsborough, this seems like a vanished era, the world of the football hooligan still has the power to fascinate. No one has captured the atmosphere with the same authenticity as Ward, who reveals the truth behind the easy headlines: the camaraderie, the unexpected friendships between rival groups, the characters who attained near mythical status. Controversial, provocative and above all brilliantly told, Steaming Intakes the reader right to the heart of the action.
Bulgarian Bruises, Bloodgate and Other Stories
In his almost 20 years in the sport, Will Greenwood has achieved just about everything a professional rugby player could ever aspire to, playing an integral role in the World Cup-winning campaign of 2003, and achieving great things with England beyond that at the Six Nations and on tour with the Lions. Never was a man better placed to write on the sport. From the grassroots to elite professionalism, Greenwood has made his name as the face of intelligent and entertaining rugby writing and punditry. From hilarious character sketches of players to technical discussion of scrummaging and World Cup reminiscences, Greenwood delivers unrivalled writing on rugby that takes the reader to the heart of the game.
Daniel Tzvetkoff was just another Brisbane teenager working for peanuts at Pizza Hut and spending much of his spare time glued to his computer. When he worked out a new method of payment processing, the online poker companies came running to him for help so they could grow their businesses. Soon he was living the American dream, raking in $3 million a week and revelling in a jet-set lifestyle of fast cars, luxury yachts and VIP nightclubs. His epic rollercoaster ride mirrored the extraordinary world of online poker, where hot-shot college students won millions from the confines of their dorms, and fortunes were won and lost. However, Tzvetkoff's move to the bright lights of Las Vegas would soon see him facing the abyss. Owing millions to the poker companies, and with the FBI hot on his trail, the boy wonder needed to pull an ace from his sleeve to keep from busting out. And when he did, it resulted in a day that sent shockwaves through the world of online poker - and saw him take the blame.
It was cold in Cardiff. Old women bowed their heads, scarves flapping irritably, as they dragged their Tuesday-morning shopping behind them. The men pushed their hands deeper into their coat pockets. They also picked up the pace, hoping to stamp some of the griping rawness from their feet. As we turned left towards the stadium, we did the same. The concrete outline of the main stand could barely be seen through the cloud. It was a sky so low and so grey that, searching for a Celtic streak of brooding romance, I said it might be carrying the whitest snow,
When the British and Irish Lions set out for Australia in late May, they knew they faced a daunting task. Since the war, only four Lions sides had returned victorious, the last in 1997. In the modern era of professional rugby, some even questioned if the Lions concept still had a place. How could a mixture of of northern hemisphere nations come together and take on the might of one of the southern giants? Under coach Warren Gatland and captain Sam Warburton, the Lions of 2013 looked to overcome the doubters and to show they could still make the Lions roar. As captain, Warburton himself had to face questions over his form and fitness, but he emerged to lead his side to a stunning 23-21 victory in the first Test in Brisbane. The second Test was lost by the narrowest of margins, but the Lions bounced back to record an epic 41-16 triumph to seal the series. In this book, Warburton relives the entire Lions experience, from the moment he learned he had been chosen to captain the side to the time he got to raise the trophy at the end of the tour, and the huge welcome that greeted the squad when they returned home. Packed with insight and revealing details about the Lions preparations, this is the definitive inside account of one of rugby's greatest moments.
Le Tour: A History of the Tour de France
Geoffrey Wheatcroft's hugely entertaining and well researched history of the Tour de France is already established as the definitive account of cycling's greatest event. Since the book was last published in 2007, much has changed. Bradley Wiggins' historic victory in 2012 - the first Briton ever to secure the yellow jersey - brought him a knighthood and garnered more interest in the race than ever before. Yet the months after were dominated by an even bigger story, as Tour legend and seven-time winner Lance Armstrong was stripped of his titles and confessed on Oprah to doping in each of his victories. Suddenly, everything that we thought we knew had happened was no longer true. In this new and comprehensively revised edition of the book, Wheatcroft not only brings his story of the Tour fully up to date to mark the race's 100th running in 2013, he also reflects on the changes brought about by the scandals that have rocked the sport to its core. Yet for all the controversies of modern times, he vividly captures the essential glory and romance of the heroes who battle to conquer one of sport's greatest challenges.
White on Green
Following Peter Oborne's award-winning global success with?Wounded Tiger: A History of Cricket in Pakistan?comes a new volume, written with Richard Heller, to celebrate the extraordinary story of Pakistan cricket.In?White on Green, we discover a?rich tapestry of stories about cricket?in all its forms that will fascinate all who want to understand more about that country. We hear from the players of Dera Ismail Khan, who appeared when their side lost by a world-record margin of an innings and 851 runs; and from the Khan sisters, who helped develop the women's game in Pakistan, despite the threats from those who believed their actions to be immoral. But we also hear from the greats of Pakistan cricket, past and present, who provide a revealing picture of the special challenges they have faced, both at home and abroad.Written with great warmth, affection and insight,?White on Green?is?an evocative portrait?of a country that is too often condemned and too little understood by outsiders. It shows how the spirit of cricket can help overcome the most difficult environments and bring people together.
STRANGER TO THE GROUND
Richard Bach’s first book,?Stranger to the Ground?is above all else an insight into the character of a man whose great compulsion is to measure himself against storm and night and fear. On the surface it is the tale of a memorable mission of a young fighter pilot utilizing his skills in a lonely duel with death. Yet between the lines emerges the portrait of the airman as a breed, probing outward, but even more significantly, inward.
Million Dollar Arm
From the farmlands of India to the fields of major league baseball, this fascinating memoir tells the story of a man who forever changed the lives of two talented young men through a pitching contest in India. The official tie-in book to Disney’s major motion picture, starring Jon Hamm.
The Best Team Money Can Buy
With a new Afterword covering the 2015 season.The bestselling, inside-the-clubhouse story of two tumultuous years when the Los Angeles Dodgers were re-made from top to bottom, becoming the most talked-about and most colorful team in baseball. “It’s as if Molly Knight ushers you behind the closed clubhouse doors.” (Buster Olney, ESPN)In 2012 the Los Angeles Dodgers were bought out of bankruptcy in the most expensive sale in sports history. Los Angeles icon Magic Johnson and his partners hoped to put together a team worthy of Hollywood: consistently entertaining. By most accounts they have succeeded, if not always in the way they might have imagined.In The Best Team Money Can Buy, Molly Knight tells the story of the Dodgers’ 2013 and 2014 seasons with detailed, previously unreported revelations. She shares a behind-the-scenes account of the astonishing sale of the Dodgers, as well as what the Dodgers actually knew in advance about rookie phenom and Cuban defector Yasiel Puig. We learn how close manager Don Mattingly was to losing his job during the 2013 season—and how the team turned around the season in the most remarkable fifty-game stretch of any team since World War II. Knight also provides a rare glimpse into the in-fighting and mistrust that derailed the team in 2014 and paints an intimate portrait of star pitcher Clayton Kershaw, including details about the record contract offer he turned down before accepting the richest contract any pitcher ever signed.Exciting, surprising, and filled with juicy details, “a must-read for fans of the Dodgers and all Los Angeles sports teams….Knight’s undercover work is like none other” (Library Journal). The Best Team Money Can Buy is filled with “fascinating perspectives” (Los Angeles Times) and “interesting anecdotes about some of baseball’s most compelling figures” (The Sacramento Bee).
Is He All That?
Football is all about opinions, and few people hold more opinions about more topics than talkSPORT's host of the Drive show, Adrian Durham. Whether it is the quality of Arsenal's 'Invincibles' or the supposed brilliance of manager Jose Mourinho, you can bet that Durham will have a view on the matter. Just because everyone else agrees that Pele is the greatest footballer who ever lived, doesn't mean that Durham will agree with that view - and he will supply a whole range of fascinating reasons as to why he is right. Packed with lively comment on so many of the questions that football fans love to argue about, this book is full of the one thing that all football supporters can relate to: passion. If you ever want to provoke a lively debate,Is He All That? is sure to provide you with plenty of material. It will make you question your assumptions about the game, make you think and make you laugh.
A unique and refreshing ode to the “little things” that represent baseball’s heartbeat—the player who, in countless ways, makes other players better.Intangiball tracks the progress of the Cincinnati Reds through five years of culture change, beginning with the trades of decorated veterans Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey, Jr. It also draws liberally from such character-conscious clubs as the Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees, and Tampa Bay Rays. Author, sportswriter, and eternal fan of the game, Lonnie Wheeler systematically identifies the performance-enhancing qualities (PEQs) that together comprise the “communicable competitiveness” that he calls “teamship.”Intangiball is not designed to debunk Moneyball, but rather to sketch in what it left out: “What order is there to a baseball world in which a struggling rookie benefits not a bit from the encouraging words of the veteran who drapes his arm around the kid’s shoulders; in which Derek Jeter’s professionalism serves none but him; in which there is no reward for hustle, no edge for enthusiasm, no payoff for sacrifice; in which there is no place for the ambient contributions of David Eckstein, Marco Scutaro, or the aging, battered Scott Rolen; in which shared purpose serves no purpose?”Intangibles, as it turns out, not only ennoble the game; they help win it. And this is the book every fan must read.
Boff Whalley just likes running - the places it takes him, the moments of exhilaration and snapshots of natural beauty that he adds to his mental album. This is not a man who signs up to big city marathons and pounds the pavements. With his down to earth voice and a great sense of humour, Boff writes about how running brings a real world of discovery and adventure, from reaching the top of a mountain with the sun at your back and moon in front creating two shadows to running up Mt Fuji on a break from work. For Boff, running is about freedom, experiencing of the world, your place in it and generally just enjoying yourself. Running is a way to get back to that simplest of relationships - the one between our feet and the earth.
Harvey Penick's Little Red Book
The twentieth anniversary edition of this classic work—the bestselling golf instruction book of all time and hailed as “the golfer's equivalent of The Elements of Style” (The New York Times)—includes a new introduction by a prominent golfer, twenty new illustrations, and never-before-published materials from the Penick family archives.The most beloved golf book of all time, Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book has become required reading for all players and fans of the game, from beginners to seasoned pros.The legendary Harvey Penick, whom Sports Illustrated called the “Socrates of the golf world,” began his golfing career as a caddie in Austin, Texas, at the age of eight, and over the course of nearly a century worked with an amazing array of champions. In this classic book, which is named for the red notebook he always kept, Penick’s simple, direct, practical wisdom pares away the hypertechnical jargon that’s grown up around the golf swing, and lets all golfers, whatever their level, play their best.This twentieth-anniversary edition features a treasure trove of rare images from the Penick family archives, commemorates Penick’s lasting achievement with a moving new foreword by 2012 Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III—whose father learned the game under Penick’s tutelage—and reminds golfers everywhere to “take dead aim.”
I usually stood beside John Hayes for the anthems. I can remember one of the first games we played after he retired, standing in the line-up and thinking it was weird that he wasn’t there beside me.
They Called Me God
In the pageantry of baseball, one select group is virtually unknown in the outside world, derided by fans, faced with split-second choices that spell victory or defeat. These men are up-close observers of the action, privy to inside jokes, blood feuds, benches-clearing brawls, and managers' expletive-filled tirades. In this wonderful memoir, Hall of Fame umpire Doug Harvey takes us within baseball as you've never seen it, with unforgettable inside stories of baseball greats such as Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, and Whitey Herzog.
Refuse to be Denied: My Grand Slam Year
Sam Warbuton has had an incredible year. In the summer of 2011, at the age of only 22, he was asked to captain his country, leading Wales into the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. The team's scintillating progression through the tournament reached a nail-biting height as Wales met France in the semi-final. With a nation's hopes resting on his shoulders, Warbuton made 'that' tackle on Vincent Clerc and was shown the red card. Outcry ensued, and the Wales captain experienced great lows despite being named Player of the Tournament by many commentators. Picking himself up from the suffocating media attention, Warbuton was determined to rectify Welsh fortunes and strode into the 6 Nations. Battling injuries he led Wales to a magnificent Six Nations. This is his moment. This is his Grand Slam year.