Time To Declare – Michael Vaughan
Actually, I finished it this morning but as I haven’t started another one yet and don’t want my post to be “None”…
I never used to be at all, but in recent years I have become something of a fan of autobiographies, maybe because people I have admired over the years in various fields – sport, music, film, politics – have got to the stage of writing them, and maybe also because reading about someone’s life is a bit easier to relate to when you’ve had more of one yourself. Anyway, I read them quite often these days and find them generally pretty interesting.
Michael Vaughan is one of my sporting heroes of my adult life. I loved the way he played cricket, especially early in his career when he made batting look so easy at times, and I especially admire his leadership qualities that made him England’s most successful captain, culminating in the marvellous Ashes victory in the golden summer of 2005. When he broke down in tears giving his resignation press conference, I confess to welling up a little myself. Since his retirement, he has become a superb commentator on the radio, as well as presenting some great cricket shows on BBC 5 Live. Because of all this, I was keen to read his book.
Like most sporting autobiographies, it is no doubt ghost written but his own personality and character still manages to shine through the writing, and the style is just as he talks on the radio, so you feel as though it really is him telling his own story. As in most similar works, the childhood/early sporting experiences bits are rather predictable, but once we get to his professional career it really gets fascinating and even though I knew what was going to happen it still hooked me (a difficult thing in an autobiography). All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, the insight it gave into the world of being an England player and captain, and the great sporting memories it evoked.