In his autobiography, Malcolm reflects on his early years in the game in his teens as his family moved to England from his home in the Caribbean, and how this raw fast bowler was put through his paces in the Yorkshire League. On joining his first county club, Derbyshire, Malcolm describes how Michael Holding and Kim Barnett influenced his career, which resulted in a call up for England in 1989. His match winning achievements for his country are legendary: six for 77 against West Indies in Port of Spain in 1990; and 9 for 57 against South Africa at The Oval in 1994. Malcolm talks openly about the flare-ups on tour with former Chairman of Selectors, Ray Illingworth, his relationship with captain Mike Atherton, and how in general he has been badly mistreated by the England selectors; and as he embarks on a revitalised career with his new county Northamptonshire, he reveals his future plans in the game.
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Devon Malcolm has a habit of making history. In his first overseas Test series in 1990, he returned match figures of 10 for 137 against the West Indies at Port of Spain and was the leading wicket-taker on that tour; the following year in Australia, he was once again England's most successful bowler, amazingly sending down 100 more overs than the next busiest bowler; three years later at The Oval against South Africa, his 9 for 57 in the second innings was the best-ever return for a fast bowler.
Yet despite having discovered the short cut to fame in Yorkshire when, playing for a league XI, he bowled Geoff Boycott with a yorker, Malcolm's emergence from his days as a speed merchant with raw talent to Test match strike bowler of fearsome pace has not been without its pains and setbacks. Loss of bowling rhythm, his eccentric approach to batting, and his embarrassments in the field during his bespectacled early career, were all frailties that left him exposed to criticisms from the cricket authorities. But his honest character and his determination to fight back from adversity are qualities that have endeared him to the cricket public.
In his autobiography Malcolm reflects on his career in the game and the personalities that have influenced him both on and off the field. He talks openly about three England captains David Gower, Graham Gooch and, in particular, Mike Atherton and the often strained relationships with them and others in management, such as Ray Illingworth. He gives his first-hand view of the internal feuding and political backstabbing at Derbyshire, while looking forward to a fresh start with his new county, Northamptonshire.
Despite his lamentable treatment by the English cricket selectors, Malcolm is frank about his own faults and when he feels he has underachieved. he cites the support of his wife, Jennifer, and his young family during those difficult times in his career. He goes on to make a positive assessment of English cricket after the 1998 winter tour to the West Indies.
Malcolm's pride in playing for England is clear. As one of the few genuinely quick bowlers in this country, he has proved that time and again with his record-breaking achievements, echoed by the now legendary words ' You Guys Are History!'
Devon Malcolm was born in Kingston, Jamaica. He joined Derbyshire CCC in 1984 and made his England debut against Australia five years later. In over 30 Tests he has taken more than 100 Test wickets. He recently joined Northamptonshire on a three-year contract after a successful benefit season in 1997 for Derbyshire.
Pat Murphy is BBC Radio Sports Correspondent in the Midlands, specialising in soccer and cricket. He has written biographies of Ian Botham and Brian Clough, as well as ghosted autobiographies with cricketers such as David Gower, Imran Khan and Jack Russell.
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