The world’s greatest fast bowler and the cutting edge behind the success of South Africa at Test level and Warwickshire in the county championship during the mid-nineties, explains his winning mentality in his first-ever autobiography.
Arriving as a shy, introverted twenty year old on the unique stage of English professional cricket from the heartlands of South Africa, Donald’s learning curve with his county Warwickshire was steep. Competition for the one overseas berth, injuries and loss of form meant a tricky baptism for Donald in the county game, before Bob Woolmer arrived at Edgbaston in 1991 to reconstruct his bowling action.
In this book Donald reviews his relationship with key players and backroom staff – including Woolmer, Dennis Amiss, Dermot Reeve and Brian Lara – and contrasts the unique team spirit during Warwickshire’s trophy winning seasons with the later rifts that developed over the selection of Lara as the county’s overseas player.
In the Test arena, South Africa’s return to the international fold in 1992, with Donald to the fore, began tentatively, leading to a fiercely fought series with Australia home and away in 1994, and culminating in the 1998 tour of England, their first since the ban. Donald’s ferocious assault on Mike Atherton at Trent Bridge was one of the most hostile passages of fast bowling ever witnessed, and by the end of the summer South Africa’s leading strike bowler had bagged 33 wickets.
That hotly contested series saw Donald fined and given a suspended twelve-month ban by the ICC for criticisms of the umpiring in the Trent Bridge Test, about which Donald has some hard-hitting opinions.
With his telling insights into the rugged physical and mental approach instilled as part of his Afrikaans cricket upbringing and the touring pressures faced by the modern-day Test cricketer, Donald’s book provides compelling reading. And with forthcoming series against the West Indies and New Zealand, Donald’s goal of joining that exclusive group of bowlers taking 300 Test wickets in a career will surely be fulfilled.
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Commonly regarded as Test cricket’s number one fast bowler, Allan Donald is respected throughout the world not just for his speed and hostility but also for his unquenchable spirit. Only four bowlers in history have taken 200 wickets in fewer Tests, and Donald has been at the forefront of South Africa’s bid for Test success since their return to the international fold in 1992.
Who could forget Trent Bridge 1998 and Donald’s ferocious assault on Mike Atherton in one of the most hostile passages of fast bowling ever witnessed? Quite a contrast from his arrival at Warwickshire as an introverted nineteen-year-old, spending that cold summer of 1987 listening to old pros like Norman Gifford and Dennis Amiss and learning the ropes, before establishing himself in later years with the help of coach Bob Woolmer.
In his autobiography, Donald writes openly about his relationships with these and other key personalities at Edgbaston, including the inspirational Dermot Reeve and an increasingly reclusive Brian Lara, and contrasts the unique team spirit during Warwickshires’s trophy- winning seasons with the rifts that developed over the selectionof Lara as the county’s overseas player.
In the Test arena, Donald describes vividly the highs and lows of spearheading the South African team: the fiercly competitive series against Australia in 1994 and his battles with Steve Waugh; the historic win over England at Lord’s during that summer; two World Cups, including his hurt at being dropped from the side in the 1996 tournament;and his 33 wickets on the 1998 tour of England, during which Donald was fined and given a suspended twelve-month ban by the ICC for criticisms of a Test umpire.
Delving into the rugged physical and mental approach instilled as part of his Afrikaans upbringing, cricket in the townships and the touring pressures faced by the modern day cricketer, Donald’s book provides a rare view of professional cricket from the perspective of a South African sportsman at the pinnacle of his career.About the Author:
Allan Donald was born in Bloemfontein and made his first-class cricket debut at the age of 18. He joined Warwickshire CCC in 1987 and has been their principal overseas player for more than a decade. He has spearheaded South Africa’s bowling attack since their return to international cricket in 1992, capturing over 250 wickets in 45 Tests.
Pat Murphy is BBC Radio Sports Correspondent in the Midlands, specialising in soccer and cricket. He has ghosted autobiographies with cricketers such as David Gower, Wasim Akram, Jack Russell and Devon Malcolm.
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Book Description HARPERCOLLINSWILLOW, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 2188899