Cricket, popularly known as “Gentlemen’s Game” is not devoid of its justifiable share of controversies. Autobiographies of some legendary cricketers arouse untold controversies which staggered and dazed people across the globe. Listed below are a few autobiographies of famous cricketers that stormed the world with controversies.
South African cricketer Herschelle Gibbs penned his book “To The Point”. His book talks about drink, drugs sexual orgies and match fixing during his years with the South African team. After reading his book some people still love him and are happy that he has uncovered the dark side of cricket while others have lost total respect and are absolute disgusted. The book not only details his personal experiences and achievements, along with his failures, but it also places a limelight on the demeanor and behaviour of a number of his teammates who he has played with over the years
Australian batsman and wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist authored “True Colours” in 2008. The book flew off the shelves for his take at Sachin Tendulkar, who during the Monkeygate racism scandal gave some questionable data against what was supposedly said to India’s Harbhajan Singh. Eliciting events of the Monkeygate controversy, where Harbhajan Singh was accused of racism, Adam lashed out at the off-spinner, Tendulkar and cricket boards of both India and Australia.He also banged officials from both countries, condemning the BCCI of “playing politics” and Cricket Australia and the ICC of “caving in” when the spinner’s original deferment was annihilated.
In 2006, John Wright authored the book “John Wright’s Indian Summers” unfolding his experiences as coach of the Indian Cricket Team along with Indian journalist ShardaUgra and Paul Thomas. His book is rather ironic, as it caused offence among some Indians. The book has not been released in the sub-continent, yet has rapidly been dubbed as controversial. He has prudently abstained from cheap shots and score settling, which often depreciate the appeal of such books. Most disturbing was the answer to Ganguly’s evaporating captaincy. Those who proposed Dravid as captain were seen to despise Ganguly, and those sticking with Ganguly were thus anti-Dravid
“Sunny Days” by Sunil Gavaskar was labeled as pretty courageous for its day. The book was revealed in 1976. Erapalli Prasanna’s One More Over published a year later also had passages that were bound to raise a ruckus. The generally mild-mannered Dilip Doshi surprised one and all by making a no-holds barred attack on Sunil Gavaskar in his autobiography “Spin Punch” released in 1991. Many passages were vitriolic against Gavaskar the man and the captain.
Not unexpectedly Ian Botham’s autobiography was explosive. His book “Head On” is admittance to drug misuse and playing entirely different sort of cricket in the field. The great England all rounder had a standard of living in harmony with his larger than life image and feats on the field. It contained many anecdotes that belonged to the commercial grouping including the charge that Pakistan bowlers interfered with the ball. Of course his admittance that he smoked marijuana also ensured that the book would be a best seller.
One can easily dwell upon what uproar Jim Laker’s autobiography “Over To Me” released in 1960 beget. The great England off spinner really hit out at all. It manifolds and exposed personal episodes that should not in general have found their way in print. The book is stenched of resentment and anger. While reviewing it, John Arlott behold that it was a pity that the book had such a piercingly grave tone by a bowler with 193 wickets in 46 Tests, esteemed as possibly the best off spinner of all time and holder of the famous 19 for 90 record at Old Trafford during his Golden Summer of 1956, certainly had a better time in the game than the book suggested. The book got him into trouble with both MCC and Surrey, his county.
When Ian Meckiff came out with his autobiography “Thrown Out” it was anticipated to lift up a hornet’s nest and it did. Meckiff presented himself as a sacrificial victim and had unflattering things about many cricketers of his time, and the fact remained that he had a divisive mindset. In the end with he was called for throwing by an Australian umpire and retired from the game.
He has written three autobiographical works. “By God’s Decree” in 1985, “Cricket my Style” in 1987 and his most recent autobiography, titled “Straight from the Heart” in 2004. Kapil said, “I have nothing to hide. I have no worries. In my book, I’ve said what I think of my life, my family, my friends, teammates, the cricket board and the media.”