The enfant terrible of English cricket is ready to reveal the incidents in his career, both on and off the field, which have ensured that he has been headline front page as well as back page news.
The ‘Cat’ has never been far from controversy. The man once described by West Indies Test batsman, Everton Weekes, as “an oik of the worst sort”, has certainly had his share of scrapes.
As a youth he was thrown out of both public and comprehensive school; his first mariage – to an ex-prostitute – ended in violence, and the father of a former girlfriend once hit him over the head with a brick; there have been bust-ups with officialdom on and off the pitch; and Tufnell has been the subject of numerous drugs allegations, especially on the 1996/97 England tour of New Zealand.
But when the force is with him, as it was when he spun England to victory over Australia at The Oval in the final Ashes Test of the summer series of 1997, Tufnell is capable of the kind of cricketing excellence which unites all in admiration of his talent.
In his autobiography, he reflects on his chequered career in the game, and how at each new dawn the establishment have undermined his game – from the years of Gooch’s captaincy, to the recent times of Mike Atherton. Tufnell also offers his opinion on the current regime, headed by Alec Stewart, which he has so far viewed from the sidelines.
Several of the best cricketing minds have been unable to fathom what makes Tufnell tick – but it is only in this book that the man himself can provide the real answers.
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“The tale of the game’s unlikeliest bearer of three initials is assuredly no ordinary autobiography”
Wisden Cricket Monthly
“a book not to be missed at any price”
No English bowler in the nineties has been able to turn a game on its head like Phil Tufnell; and no modern cricketer has so infuriated the authorities and courted controversy in a career that has often teetered on the brink of ruin. ‘Phil is a great bowler – and a complete dickhead,’ according to one Middlesex and England colleague; while a former West Indies Test batsman called him ‘an oik of the worst sort’.
The critics might have lambasted Tufnell, the country’s leading left-arm spinner, for his performances on the 1997/98 West Indies tour. But when the force is with him, as it was when he spun England to victory over Australia in the final Ashes Test of the 1997 summer series, ‘The Cat’ is capable of the kind of cricketing excellence which unites all in admiration of his talent.
In his autobiography, Tufnell charts his extraordinarily complex life and provides a fascinating insight into what makes him tick. He tells the full story of his expulsion from not one but two schools and the wild days of birds and booze that he freely admits could have killed him. He reflects on a tumultuous career in cricket that reads like a television soap opera: fined for a late night binge on his first overseas cricket tour; punished for swearing at an umpire in India; admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Perth after throwing tantrums in his hotel room; accused of smoking cannabis in a Christchurch wine bar lavatory; and more recently his failure to take a drugs test during an end of season county match for Middlesex.
He discusses in full detail his relationships, including that with a former girlfriend which ended in violence and despair, and the calming influence of his second wife Lisa and the shock of almost losing her and their daughter during a pregnancy.
A day in the life of Phil Tufnell never passes without incident, whether on or off the field. his is a human story as much as a cricket story, brought to life in this colourful and compelling book.
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Book Description HarperCollinsWillow, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 2188163