Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Review: The Ashes: A Celebration by Roland Perry

As the title suggests this book is about the ashes, the longest running series in test cricket pitting Australia against England. Perry focuses on what he considers the biggest impacts, individuals and events, in the competition's history; 1: the 2005 Ashes 2: Lawrence-led Aborigine tour of England in 1868 3: W.G. Grace 4: The 1882 win by Australia at the Oval 5: Bodyline 6:Don Bradman 7: The 1977 Centenary Test 8: The Packer Revolution- World Series Cricket 9: Ian Botham 10: Shane Warne.

The decision to start with the 2005 series was an apt one, considering the interest this brought back to the contest. Switching then to the Laurence-led tour, or what was effectively the prehistory of the Ashes, was interesting and made a good change of pace.

If you're interested in cricket at all then this walk through the games history is for you and Perry certainly has a concise and very readable style. The problems for me came about mid-book. It is obvious that the author is rehashing a lot of his previous work, especially from autobiographies of Keith Miller, Don Bradman and Shane Warne. Some of the Bradman and Warne chapters in particular seem to have very little to do with the ashes. The story also follows a very aussie-centric perspective especially the further you progress into the book and I for one would have preferred a more balanced approach.

Overall cricket lovers with find enough here to keep them interested but a greater focus and a more balanced approach would have made a better read. 6.75/10,

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