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Book Review: Tuffers’ Cricket Tales

Reviews editor Ed Kemp takes a look at Phil Tufnell’s Tuffers’ Cricket Tales (RRP £16.99), published by Headline Publishing. 

You’ll certainly find more in-depth accounts of what was going on in English cricket during the 90s. Tufnell’s previous autobiography – or perhaps Mike Atherton’s memoir Opening Up – offers you the detail that Tufnell now, by his own admission, either doesn’t know or can’t remember.

This book moves breezily through the career of the man who now commentates for TMS and reports for The One Show, taking in the various amusing tales from his colourful life in cricket. A series of light-hearted anecdotes, it’s not unlike the transcript of a decent after-dinner speech.

It’s easy to underestimate Tufnell as a cricketer. He does so himself many times in this book. He clearly didn’t care much for batting or fielding, but he was one of England’s finest spinners. And there are few who can boast taking 1,000 first-class wickets AND winning I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here.

He goes into great detail describing his beer and wine drinking prowess, but constantly sends up his own batting and fielding abilities. That said, in one classic tale, he takes charming and remarkable glee in describing his only first-class half-century in 349 attempts.

Elsewhere, Tuffers admits to physically kicking an opposition batsman whom he was struggling to get out, and off the field, we how England’s best left-armer since Underwood nearly had a fight with a judge.

Everything you’d expect from Tuffers, this new offering is undeniably an entertaining read, and gets the stories told in an imaginative format. One to flick through on the boundary with your mates this summer.

Click here to read A Drink With… Phil Tufnell

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