Ranking Mike Hussey & Andrew Strauss in a List of Controversial Autobiographies
This month has seen Mike Hussey and Andrew Strauss—two massive figures of cricket in the noughties—release their autobiographies, with some of the revelations causing quite a stir.
In light of this, B/R has selected a small group of autobiographies and has ranked them in descending order, from least controversial to the most.
John Wright: Indian Summers
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Always a divisive figure during his time as Indian coach, Wright revealed a lot about the split between him and Sourav Ganguly that caused the end of his tenure.
Books on Indian cricket are generally less shocking, so Wright’s insights into the dressing-room split were devoured by the media.
Marcus Trescothick: Coming Back to Me
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Marcus Trescothick’s book was not controversial as such, but his beautifully written and galling tale of his serious depression left a lasting mark on the sporting world, and continued to raise awareness of the horrors of mental illness.
Andrew Strauss: Driving Ambition
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This autobiography was not controversial, but did generate a stir. It came out relatively soon after Strauss’ retirement, with the aura of his captaincy still strong and many of his players still involved in the England setup.
Normally withdrawn, Strauss was slightly more forthright in his views on the Indian Premier League, Kevin Pietersen and gave a harrowing account into the days up until his retirement, revealing quite how serious the KP text scandal had become.
Adam Gilchrist: True Colours
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An excellent book and one that is largely not controversial. However, the infamous monkey-gate scandal generates a fair deal of controversy.
Gilchrist attacks Cricket Australia. More stunning still, he makes claims about Sachin Tendulkar that accuse him of being a bad sport.
He later apologised to Tendulkar under intense media pressure.
Ian Botham: Head on
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Botham continued his relationship with controversy with the publication of his book, Head On.
There were many lurid allegations and claims, including accusing the Pakistan team of ball tampering and him famously saying he smokes marijuana.
Mike Hussey: Underneath the Southern Cross
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Mike Hussey’s sudden retirement from international cricket took many people by surprise. As a result, the publication of his autobiography was always going to generate intrigue.
The book did not disappoint.
Underneath the Southern Cross shed light on a poor team culture and his bewilderment at some of the more recent management decisions and actions. He also confirmed that Gurunath Meiyappan “ran” the Chennai Super Kings; a fact contested by Gurunath himself when embroiled in a gambling scandal.
Jim Laker: Spinning Round the World
The publication of Laker’s remarkably open book was the beginning of the end of his international career.
He launched into Indian cricket and India in general, revealing a bitter and sensationalist side to Laker’s character. The book got him into trouble with the MCC and Surrey.
Herschelle Gibbs: To the Point
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Reported to have sold out in two days after a string of dramatic serialisations in which he attacked Cricket South Africa (all but ending his still open international career) and accused teammates of smoking marijuana. Gibbs also revealed deep divisions in the team.
In the age of modern media, this was probably one of the most controversial autobiographies released.