With Graeme Swann’s puntastically-titled autobiography The Breaks Are Off gaining plenty of media traction, the spinner has turned his attention to helping some of England cricket’s dimmer, less outgoing figures produce books of their own…
The Cakes Are Toff: by Alastair Cook
A deeply moving account of life as the butler and personal chef to England captain Andrew Strauss from the man Andrew refers to, simply, as “His Rock”. Features behind-the-scenes account of the exact temperature Strauss likes his buttered crumpets, tips on how to iron a copy of the FT, and an account of the only time Strauss has lost his temper: after Steve Finn interrupted him during afternoon tea to ask if the younger lads could be allowed to play Xbox for a bit.
The Steaks Are On: by Samit Patel
A heartrending account of a talented young player’s attempt to grill himself up a bit of rump, and a few sausages and chops and that, during a training camp at Loughborough. Features for the first time the account of how Rod Marsh caught Samit fashioning a makeshift barbeque out of some plastic fielding cones and placed him on a strict diet of salad, arm-balls, press-ups and Linda McCartney veggieburgers.
The Snakes Are Rough: by Steve Harmison
Heart-rending, deeply moving, painfully irritating travelogue about how frightening it is touring the world playing cricket. No reader will be able to get through Steve’s account of seeing “an adder, or maybe a python, or possibly a bit of rolled up newspaper” in Heathrow airport and realising just how far away he was from home without howling.
The Braai Is Off: Jonathan Trott et al
Deeply moving bildungsroman about a young(ish) South African’s personal quest for acceptance, understanding and a different passport, as he escapes the barren wastelands of Quotamaritzburg for the promised land of the West Midlands. Published in Afrikaans. Audiobook available, read by Fanie de Villiers and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
The Mic Is Gough: by Darren Gough
Three-inch-thick deeply moving pageturner in which Dazzler spills the beans on his post-cricket career, including his unforgettable appearance on Strictly Come Masterchef On Ice Relief, where Darren’s double-salchow choc-chip mousse for children with astigmatism brought the nation to tears. And for the first time, Darren reveals all about that infamous incident with Ronnie Irani in the lift at TalkSPORT and puts the record straight about which of them actually had the most trenchant opinion about the England football team, how they were trapped in there for over 14 minutes, and whether, with the benefit of hindsight, they could have hung on before drinking their own urine.
By Alan Tyers More made-up autobiographies in CrickiLeaks: The Secret Ashes Diaries, by Tyers and Beach, here