Following On – A Year With English Cricket’s Golden Boys (HB)


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The end of cricket’s first decade of the millennium; a landscape of money and glory stretching ahead. The Ashes, World Twenty20 and Indian Premier League written into the calendar, making it an exciting and lucrative time to be a successful English player. At the forefront of this explosion of opportunity should have been the men who in 1998 became the only male England cricket team to win a global trophy, when they lifted the Under-19 World Cup. Yet as they approached and turned 30, the supposed prime of sporting life, their careers were heading down varied paths. Graeme Swann and Owais Shah began 2009 in pursuit of England ambitions and were soon heading in opposite directions. Robert Key and new Twenty20 hero Graham Napier awaited their country’s call, while others wondered whether their county careers would attract the loose change from the top end of the sport or fall victim to economic recession. Some, meanwhile, were back in the real world, combining Minor Counties and club cricket with jobs in sales, property and recruitment. One had returned to first-class cricket as its youngest umpire. From the packed stands of Lord s to the most rural of club grounds, Following On tells the stories of the fourteen World Cup winners against the backdrop of a historic year for their sport. There are Ashes heroics, clashes with county committees, fall-outs with selectors and even a campaign of death threats. The result is a fascinating insight into the cricketing profession, through those who were once the English game s golden generation.



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