Search for your sports books:

Featured Publisher: John Blake
Apart form its current publications, John Blake Publishing has a sizeable back list of acclaimed sporting titles. These include biographies of stars such as Roger Federer, WG Grace, Fernando Torres and Frankie Dettori. For more information, visit www.blake.co.uk



Read Review
<back to archive

No Boundaries by Ronnie Irani

Release date: 15th October, 2009
Publisher: John Blake Publishing

List Price: £18.99
Our Price: £9.49
You Save: £9.5 (50%)
Buy Now

No Boundaries
By Ronnie Irani
John Blake Publishing

Sportsbookofthemonth.com price: £9.49, saving 50% on rrp


Having bowled a particularly good delivery to Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards, Ronnie Irani was disappointed that the great man tried to haul him out of the ground. Quite naturally, therefore, he walked towards the revered cricketing god and suggested that Richards should show a little more respect when he faced a good ball. "I turned on my heel," writes Ronnie, " already regretting what I'd said."

Not surprisingly, Richards pursued him, initially with an imperious bellow. "Young man," he hollered several times before Irani eventually turned, "cursing myself for being an idiot."

"Yes Viv. What is it?"

"Young man, you will go far in this game," said Richards. And with that, he turned and went back to his crease and blocked every ball of Irani's next (maiden) over, after which he hollered again: "Well bowled."

Astonishingly, this incident took place during Ronnie's debut for Lancashire. It sums the man up: not afraid to back himself, even when still a rookie, and certainly prepared to challenge the world's best.

No Boundaries is an appropriate title for it is packed with similar examples (including a particularly funny one involving Sachin Tendulkar) which reveals him as an honest cricketer who fans appreciated because of his willingness to never give up. How such a committed individual appeared only three times in an England shirt is astonishing. Sure, he was plagued by injury, but one fancies that Ronnie would have been delighted to play through pain in order to represent his country.

Unlike a number of wooden sporting tomes, No Boundaries is as well paced as an Irani opening ball. From his inaugural gig as an after dinner speaker with Sid Dennis to the ribald stories of being on tour, especially when rooming with Phil Tufnell, readers will find themselves suffering from frequent bouts of nose-snorting laughter.

But it is not just a collection of humorous anecdotes. No Boundaries provides a candid account of life as a professional sportsman where we learn why one side of a cricket ball is illegally 'roughed up' and where we have an empathy for those fringe players not awarded contract extensions, not least because they're Ronnie's mates.

There are some great cricketing tales too, especially when Ronnie scores his maiden century in a match where Essex required 405 to win on the last day against Worcestershire and achieved victory off the final ball. His pre-England debut dinner when, as tradition dictates, he sat next to chairman of the selectors, Ray Illingworth, is another example of cricket's greatest exponents being more inclined to encourage, rather than disparage, the efforts of younger players. This was not always the case with some of the cricketing stars with whom Irani rubbed shoulders during his career.

He had intended it should be spent with Lancashire (he was born in Bolton), but unable to get much first XI exposure, a chance remark by Graham Saville led him to forge a successful career with Essex instead.

Ronnie is grateful for the people who helped him along the way and he is particularly thankful to Frank Dick, former director of coaching for British athletics who, he says, was responsible for giving him "a transfusion of optimism and self-confidence."

Listening to him on Talksport nowadays, few would imagine Ronnie being short on confidence; that he admits it is just another example of the man's disarming openness. Read it.


<back to archive


Toolstation


SBOTM Current Top 10

The Hardmen: Legends of the Cycling Gods By Frank Strack
Pursuit Books
Read Review Buy Now
The Greatest Comeback: From Genocide to Football Glory By David Bolchover
Biteback
Read Review Buy Now
Tom Simpson: Bird On A Wire By Andy McGrath
Bloomsbury Sport
Read Review Buy Now
But Seriously An Autobiography By John McEnroe
W & N
Read Review Buy Now
The Descent By Thomas Dekker
Ebury Press
Read Review Buy Now
We Are Sunday League By Ewan Flynn
Pitch Publishing
Read Review Buy Now
The Fall of the House of FIFA By David Conn
Yellow Jersey Press
Read Review Buy Now
Gentleman and Player The Story of Colin Cowdrey, Cricket’s Most Elegant and Charming Batsman By Andrew Murtagh
Pitch Publishing
Read Review Buy Now
The Premier League: 25 Years By Lloyd Pettiford
Urbane Publications
Read Review Buy Now
Johnny Haynes Portrait of a Football Genius By James Gardner
Pitch Publishing
Read Review Buy Now

Amazon’s top 6 best-sellers

© Sharks Media Ltd 2004 – 2012. Site designed and maintained by Marcus Hamblett for Furydesign.