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Alec Stewart: A Captain's Diary"So near yet so far" could be the alternative subtitle to Alec Stewart's account of England's ultimately unsuccessful bid for the Ashes over the winter of 1998-99. There's no doubt that under Stewart's "never say die" approach the national team has had its sinews stiffened and the amazing victory in the fourth test at the MCG in Sydney testified to Stewart's ability to rally his troops when it really matters. But the final defeat and loss of the series also underlined the endemic problems which the national team faces and which probably go much deeper than Stewart's committed leadership of the side, despite his commendably frank criticisms of the repeated batting collapses which cost the team dear from the first Test down under to the last.
At another level, A Captain's Diary is a fascinating account of Stewart's first year in charge, from the assumption of the captaincy from Mike Atherton, through Stewart's bursting pride at leading the team out for the first time, to the anticipation of the battle for the 1999 World Cup. Along the way Stewart provides a blow-by-blow account of the Ashes series, from the slog of the first tests to the ecstasy and the agony of the final two tests and a rather tight-lipped version of his amazing clash with Arjuna Ranatunga in the post-Ashes one day series. A Captain's Diary is testimony to the fact that England may not be totally successful under Stewart's leadership, but they're certainly never dull! --Jerry Brotton
|Catalog Number List||000218897X|
|E A N||9780002188975|
|I S B N||000218897X|
|S K U||GRP37538132|
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