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Pushing the Boundaries: Cricket in the Eighties

Playing Home and Away
Narrated by: Stuart Nurse
Length: 13 hrs and 29 mins
Categories: Sport, Cricket
4.5 out of 5 stars (58 ratings)

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Summary

The '80s was a colourful period in English cricket. As a member of the most successful team in Essex's history and an England side capable of extraordinary highs and lows, Derek Pringle was lucky enough to be in the thick of it. Now, with the perspective of more than 20 years as a journalist, he lays bare the realities of life as a professional cricketer in a decade when the game was dominated by a cast of unforgettable characters whose exploits became front-page news. 

Picked for the Test side while still an ear stud-wearing student at Cambridge, he was as surprised as anybody to find himself playing alongside the likes of David Gower, Allan Lamb and Phil Edmonds. He also had to contend with being hailed as the new Ian Botham, even though the old one was still going strong - and playing in the same team. 

For England, it was a time of mixed fortunes, as Ashes victories alternated with humiliation by a dominant West Indies. The chop-and-change policy of the selectors - culminating in the summer of four captains in 1988 - made cricket such an insecure profession that some players chose to go on rebel tours of South Africa while others relished every opportunity the game provided - on and off the field.  

The hard slog of domestic cricket, meanwhile, had never seen so much talent, with counties boasting overseas players like Viv Richards, Malcolm Marshall and Javed Miandad. A coach-free zone, it was left in the hands of canny old pros such as Keith Fletcher and John Lever, who guided Essex to multiple Championship and one-day successes. 

But cricket was changing, and not necessarily for the better. By the end of the decade, as the new coaching culture established itself, it became clear that the days of the maverick cricketer were numbered. Few players ended the '80s wealthy, but as Derek Pringle's eye-opening memoir reveals, all left rich in experience, with enough stories to last a lifetime.

©2018 Derek Pringle (P)2018 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

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Surprising

Surprisingly revealing and enjoyable book for someone who always appeared very guarded. Would highly recommend.

2 people found this helpful

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A sincere portrayal of cricket in the 80s.

A swansong to the last few years of Amateur cricket before the arrival of Professional cricket with its self-righteousness and vindictiveness..A rich tapestry of characters ranging from the mercurial Keith Fletcher to the totally " bonkers " Derek Randall..
High praise for the performance where the narrator went into great pains to capture dramatic moments and various protagonists with a great degree of sincerity.
Most of the time one gets frustrated with audiobooks where the narrator just reads off the text as if it's the weekly shopping list at Tesco without the slightest effort to do justice to the text.. Can't say that about this narrator who was spot on with the impressions of various major and minor characters in the text ranging from waiters in the Indian subcontinent to Graham Gooch.. Probably one of the best audiobooks I've listened to this year along with "Paul McCartney" read by Jonathan Keeble.

1 person found this helpful

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Derek Pringle Maverick

Very good book. Derek Pringle walks through the times of the eighties in cricket. Fascinating

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PRINGLE - A GOOD SNACKING BOOK

Enjoyed the book and narration. As a cricket fan I had the impression at the time of the 80s of Pringle being viewed as a "sub-Botham" all rounder but now see him as more than a team player than Beefy but with just as strong views on the game. There was no bitterness or bragging in his recollections, merely highlighting the " old boys" network that was the norm in the past. It was in places commenting as an outsider at Test level at times getting in, being the one who gets replaced & the one the management fall back on.

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Fascinating memoir, excellent narration

A very enjoyable and fascinating memoir, full of great stories and insightful detail. Pringle nimbly treads a fine line between his insider knowledge of behind-the-scenes antics and the detailed analysis of key moments in the matches. Whenever the book looks like slipping into another anecdote about the staggering amount of drinking on tour, Pringle takes us to an intriguing bit of TCCB politics or provides, sometimes in just a few words, another fine character sketch to bring the players to life: lengthy insights into the likes of Botham, Richards or Gower, or a simple telling detail like the condition of Chris Tavare’s pyjamas; the book is packed with vivid detail. Stuart Nurse’s well-paced and engaging narration neatly balances the humour and enjoyable impressions of the players (Gooch, Border, etc) whilst deftly managing to make complete sense of the occasionally rather complex technical detail. A really enjoyable listen.

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Tells the background and stories of 80s cricket

Entertaining funny and incisive account of English crickets truly bizarre decade that was the eighties