The Art of Captaincy by Mike Brearley - review by Imran Khan

Imran Khan

Umpire, Umpire!

The Art of Captaincy

By

Hodder & Stoughton 256 £10.95
 

For cricketers in general and all aspiring captains in particular Brearley's Art of Captaincy is an excellent book. It covers not only those areas of the game that concern cricket captains but also throws light on various cricket issues. Above all the book confirms to cricket followers Brearley's grasp of the subtleties of the game.

Oddly enough, what made me first aware of Brearley's understanding of cricket was a bizarre incident that happened at Lords during a Sussex-Middlesex match a few years ago. At a tense stage in the important Benson-Hedges quarter final match, Wayne Daniels unleashed a barrage of short-pitched stuff at our trial enders, who promptly forgot about the run-chase and gave preference to physical safety. I was watching this from the non-strikers' end and was getting incensed by the umpire’s non-intervention. The same umpire had been extremely strict with me during our fielding session in the morning. When I finally brought to his attention the ruling of persistent short-pitched bowling, Mike Brearley walked up from Mid-off and successfully provoked me into an argument with the remark that I'd tried to bowl short too but just wasn't quick enough. The argument got heated enough for Brearley to walk up to me as if he was going to hit me. Thankfully Gatting intervened.

The result of the confrontation was that the umpire did not stop W Daniels from intimidating our batsmen with short-pitched bowling and Middlesex won the match comfortably. To this day I am convinced that Brearley carefully planned the whole row with me to put pressure on a weak and indecisive

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