This hilarious story of one man's lifelong obsession with cricket takes readers from the early awkward days as a fat boy growing up in a Brighton sweet shop to his years running a team of dysfunctional inadequates still chasing the sweet spot. In this story, cricket offers a shelter from life's irksome realities and a place in which to quietly dream. That place is a peculiarly English arcadia of occasional wondrous beauty, forests of comforting statistics and the endless life-affirming rituals of defeat, humiliation and disappointment—the perfect net practice for life.
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Michael Simkins was born in Brighton in 1959. In 1966 he managed to watch the football World Cup Final with three West Germans, but then shortly afterwards cricket turned his head. From the well of the sweetshop - with a plastic bat, Jamesons Raspberry Ruffles stumps and Easter Egg Display boundary - began Michael Simkins' love affair with the sound of leather on willow. From an Esso Schools semi-final with the chance of a final at the Oval for the winners to a place in the Gaieties XI in Delhi (with president, Harold Pinter, and an injured leading batsman, Sam Mendes), facing Bishan Bedi, greatest post-war off spinner in world cricket, Michael Simkins has seen it all. As well as suffering from dodgy decisions on the field, he has found himself auditioning for premium rate Cricketcall updates with a recording of himself singing at the age of six, and skived off filming with Martine McCutcheon in a Tesco's car park to watch England's Ashes triumph at the Oval. When he hasn't been playing, watching or dreaming about cricket, Michael has trained at RADA and appeared in more than 70 plays in rep. His stage highlights include A View from the Bridge at the NT as well as musicals Chicago and Mamma Mia. He also directed Alan Ayckbourn's Absent Friends at the Greenwich Theatre. He has made countless appearances on TV and on the silver screen in such films as Mike Leigh's Topsy-Turvy. He lives with his wife, actress Julia Deakin, in north-west London, and still plays cricket all over the Southern Counties.Review:
"Once you've read this account of one man's love affair with cricket, you'll never want to read another ghosted autobiography by a Pietersen or a Vaughan again - incompetence and failure is far more fun" -- Michael Atherton "An instant classic" -- Stephen Fry "The childhood recollections, suffused with warmth and spangled with pain and humour, are the book's unique selling point. Lovely stuff" * Daily Telegraph * "Simmo may be a shockingly average amateur cricketer, but when it comes to self- deprecating wit and telling a good anecdote, he's as sprightly as Garry Sobers in his prime ... anecdotes and quirky characters hurtle down at us like yorkers bowled by a fast bowler that I'm not quite knowledgeable enough to name ... an entertaining read indeed" * Sunday Times * "Michael writes about disaster, humiliation, rejection and ridicule - the hilarious truth" -- Nicholas Hytner
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Book Description United Kingdom: Ebury Pr, 2007. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. No Jacket. Language: eng Language: eng. Bookseller Inventory # ABE-11974840408