Batsmen are the poster boys of cricket. They are the richly rewarded andrightly celebrated stars of the game: Sachin Tendulkar, Vivian Richards, Brian Lara, Ricky Ponting, A.B.de Villiers and Kevin Pietersen. This is a story about them. Their hopes and fears, their triumph and torment. It is a book about the real feelings that batsmen experience and probes into their minds to see how they deal with one of the most precarious jobs in sport, in which life and death are one ball apart. Simon Hughes hero-worshipped the famous batsmen of his youth, and dreamt of scoring a hundred for England. His flawed attempts to make runs in a 15-year professional career are the prism through which he reflects on how some talented boys turn into great batsmen, and others lose their way. Now universally known as The Analyst, Hughes assesses what ingredients a batsman needs to succeed. He delves into sports psychology, showing that what goes on in the mind is the key to batting. There is no right way or wrong way to bat. This book reflects the diverse range of batting personalities and styles. Hughes spends time with many of the legendary players - from Garfield Sobers to Kumar Sangakkara - revealing what made each of them so prolific, and the secrets behind Sir Donald Bradman's phenomenal output. He chronicles the way batting has evolved and answers the fundamental question: are batsmen born or made? Written in the same wry, sardonic style as the award-winning A Lot of Hard Yakka, it is the most insightful and entertaining book about batsmen ever published.
Simon Hughes was a professional cricketer between 1980 and 1993. Since retiring from the game, he has developed a highly successful media career as a journalist, TV commentator as 'The Analyst' for Channel Five and author, winning the William Hill Sports Book of the Year prize for his classic memoir A Lot of Hard Yakka. He lives in London.
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