Alec Stewart: A Captain's Diary

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9780002188975: Alec Stewart: A Captain's Diary

Alec Stewart reflects on a tumultuous cricket year, from his appointment as England captain in the spring of 1998, followed by a stunning Test series victory against the mighty South Africans in the summer, and concluding with an Ashes tour to Australia.

In the first part of this book, Stewart sets out his credentials for the England captaincy and explores the mental approach needed to lead your country at the highest level in sport.

He gives a candid appraisal of Mike Atherton’s resignation after the West Indies tour of 1997/98, his appointment and the qualities needed for the job, how he manages to combine the unique role of captain, wicketkeeper and leading batsman, and he reveals how England overcame all the odds to win his first series in charge against South Africa 2-1.

The remaining part of the book is devoted to Stewart’s day-by-day dairy account of the Ashes tour to Australia – featuring the team’s physical and mental preparation for one of the toughest tours in the game, along with a fly-on-the-wall insight into the players and management, both on the field and in the dressing room.

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Review:

"So near yet so far" could be the alternative subtitle to Alec Stewart's account of England's ultimately unsuccessful bid for the Ashes over the winter of 1998-99. There's no doubt that under Stewart's "never say die" approach the national team has had its sinews stiffened and the amazing victory in the fourth test at the MCG in Sydney testified to Stewart's ability to rally his troops when it really matters. But the final defeat and loss of the series also underlined the endemic problems which the national team faces and which probably go much deeper than Stewart's committed leadership of the side, despite his commendably frank criticisms of the repeated batting collapses which cost the team dear from the first Test down under to the last.

At another level, A Captain's Diary is a fascinating account of Stewart's first year in charge, from the assumption of the captaincy from Mike Atherton, through Stewart's bursting pride at leading the team out for the first time, to the anticipation of the battle for the 1999 World Cup. Along the way Stewart provides a blow-by-blow account of the Ashes series, from the slog of the first tests to the ecstasy and the agony of the final two tests and a rather tight-lipped version of his amazing clash with Arjuna Ranatunga in the post-Ashes one day series. A Captain's Diary is testimony to the fact that England may not be totally successful under Stewart's leadership, but they're certainly never dull! --Jerry Brotton

From the Back Cover:

Alec Stewart reflects on a tumultuous cricket year, beginning with his appointment as England captain in the spring of 1998, followed by a stunning Test series victory against the mighty South Africans in the summer, and concluding with the greatest of all challenges, an Ashes tour to Australia.

In the first part of this book, Stewart sets out his credentials for the England captaincy and explores the mental approach needed to lead your country at the highest level in sport.

He gives a candid appraisal of Mike Atherton’s resignation after the West Indies tour of 1997/98, his appointment and the qualities needed for the job, how he manages to combine the unique role of captain, wicketkeeper and leading batsman, and he reveals how England overcame all the odds to win his first series in charge against South Africa 2-1.

The remaining part of the book is devoted to Stewart’s day-by-day dairy account of the Ashes tour to Australia – featuring the team’s physical and mental preparation for one of the toughest tours in the game, along with a fly-on-the-wall insight into the players and management, both on the field and in the dressing room.

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