Thursday, 4 February 2010
Book of the Month - January 2010
‘NO BOUNDARIES’ by RONNIE IRANI
‘NO BOUNDARIES’ by RONNIE IRANI
Although Ronnie Irani never played for the White Rose County there is something very Yorkshire about him. He is not averse to saying what he thinks (and now gets paid for doing just that for TalkSport), he gave his cricket everything he had and best of all, turned his back on his native Lancashire !
‘No Boundaries’ chronicles Irani’s life and career to date from his early career with Lancashire, why he felt forced to leave for Essex, his battle with injury which eventually saw him hang up his Essex cap for good and his transition into life as a TalkSport presenter.
Irani writes about his ice cold relationship with an aloof Mike Atherton, his on-off-on and now very off association with Nasser Hussain and speaks candidly about the difficulties of becoming Essex captain with a problematic Stuart Law in the side. He tells of his frustration with various England tour managements who misunderstood him and he is patently still disgruntled that he became the overseas scapegoat on more than one occasion and intimates that this cost him further England opportunities.
An interesting passage of the book is set during the South African World Cup when England decided not to travel to Zimbabwe for political and security reasons. In the team meeting, Irani was the only member of the side who voted to play the fixture.
He played a season for Skelmanthorpe in the Huddersfield League, could have joined Yorkshire instead of Essex, almost met his death in a storm above Victoria Falls alongside Darren Gough and Wayne Morton (ex-Yorkshire and England physio) and introduced his England room-mate, Phil Tufnell, to ice baths.
Now a popular after dinner speaker, Irani tells how his first gig when still a relatively young player was on the same bill as a Skegness scrap metal dealer who would become a big help in shaping his act that night and in the future. Much of his act has gone into the pages of ‘No Boundaries’ which at times is extremely funny, but also reveals how much passion Irani had for the cricket he played.
|‘No Boundaries’ is published by John Blake Publishing Ltd.|
One of the book’s highlights is not penned by Ronnie at all. It’s a chapter by his wife Lorraine and gives a revealing insight into what it is like to be a cricket WAG – although she is patently not your stereotypical limelight wife. She ends her account of twenty-plus years as Mrs Irani by saying, “Being a cricketer’s wife is not something I would recommend to everyone and a lot of women have found it impossible. I’ve been one of the fortunate ones for whom it has worked out all right.”
Whereas other sports people’s autobiographies start and end with a moment of on-pitch triumph Irani pushes to the fore his Chelmsford farewell when accompanied by his two young daughters. As throughout the book it is obvious that the game, the cricket public and his friends and family mean an awful lot to him.
It’s not a book for cricket statisticians as averages and quantities of runs and wickets do not feature heavily at all. What this book is however is an excellent insight into the mind of a cricketer with considerable talent who could have played more than the 3 Tests and 31 ODIs that he has to his name.
…before the Test at Edgbaston. Ath was obviously feeling Churchillian. He stood before us and proclaimed, “What we have to ask ourselves is, are we men or are we boys? We are about to represent our country so it’s time to decide if we are men or boys. The fans expect us to deliver a victory. Are we men or are we boys? Millions will be watching us around the world on TV. Are we men or are we boys?” At that moment the umpire knocked on the door and Mike yelled, “Come on, let’s go boys”
We have two signed copies of Ronni Irani’s book to give away. You stand a chance of winning one if you can answer the following question…
How many Test Match wickets did Ronnie Irani take?
Answers please to firstname.lastname@example.org before 22nd January 2010.
Day 2, 2nd Investec Test close
England v New Zealand
England 1st Innings
337 for 7 (94 overs)
Root 104 (Maiden Test century) Bairstow 64