Monday, August 17, 2009

Sir Richard Hadlee
Hodder - $44.99

Following on from his best-selling biography Rhythm and Swing this memoir recounts the last few years of Sir Richard Hadlee’s cricketing career before describing the tumultuous period in his life that followed his retirement. He describes the way in which his life, once so successful and full of high achievement, was suddenly shattered as he experienced a debilitating heart attack that led to major surgery, and shortly afterwards his marriage of twenty-two years came to an end.

He then describes how, with the help of the woman who was to become his new wife, Dianne, he picked up the pieces and created a new life, first as a cricket ambassador and commentator, and then as the chairman of selectors for New Zealand Cricket. If he had hoped that at that point his life might become less complicated, he soon found that being a cricket selector brought with it fresh challenges and exposed him to close scrutiny and criticism from the media.
Changing Pace reveals the thinking behind the selectors’ decisions during his tenure, the steady improvement in the national team over that time and the controversial events of the 2003 Cricket World Cup in South Africa, as well as describing the often vitriolic criticism levelled at Sir Richard by some writers.
Along the way, Sir Richard reveals the thinking behind the disciplined approach that took him to the pinnacle of achievement in his sport and that helped him bring a more defined focus to the role of selector. In everything he has undertaken and through all his experiences Richard Hadlee reveals himself as totally committed and passionate, and this book clearly illustrates how those attributes have lead to the many successes he has enjoyed in his sport and beyond.

Sir Richard Hadlee is New Zealand’s greatest ever cricketer. Since he stopped playing professionally he has been a cricket ambassador and commentator and was the chairman of selectors for NZ Cricket. Sir Richard was awarded a knighthood for services to cricket in 1990. In Janaury 2009 he was named as one of the inaugural inductees of the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.
Sir Richard Hadlee has aways been a straight-up say-it-as-it-is sort of guy and he has written this book in the way you would have expected. Frank, honest and personal.
Here is his introduction to the new book:
My autobiography, Rhythm and Swing, was released in 1989 and consequently did not include my last tour of England in 1990. During that tour I captured a wicket with the very last ball I bowled in international cricket, to end with a world record 431 test wickets during my 18-year test career. I also turned 39 as I retired from the international scene and was knighted for services to New Zealand cricket while still playing my last two tests.
This book tells the story of my life since that time, and if I thought things would slow down a little after retiring, I was wrong. Since then, I have had open heart surgery, my marriage has ended and a new relationship begun, I’ve written several cricketing books, I’ve been the chairman of selectors for New Zealand Cricket (NZC) and, along with my family, I’ve been through the emotional roller-coaster of my dad’s decline and death in 2006.

This book describes those events and also explains many of the issues faced and decisions made by the selectors during my tenure on the panel. I outline what I think of the current group of players and what happened on our ill-fated 2003 World Cup campaign. I look at the emergence of the New Zealand Cricket Players’ Association (CPA) and events of the players’ strike in 2002 — a strike that was so destructive that many ex-players and older stalwarts of the game were reduced to tears. Dad said to me: ‘The players have abused and betrayed our game — all for personal greed. They have held our game to ransom.’
My tenure as chairman of selectors came at a tumultuous time, with many issues and controversies that captured the public’s and the media’s imagination. I was attacked constantly by the New Zealand Herald and their sports writer Richard Boock, who ‘bagged’ me throughout my time as a selector. We had a tempestuous relationship and in this book I try to understand why Richard Boock took this view.

The book also contains many key thoughts regarding what motivated me as a player and how I was driven by personal goals and targets to be the best I could be. I recall the magic moments and my most memorable matches, and take a light-hearted look at myself and the fun I had in the commentary box. I examine my relationship with some of the media and there are personal thoughts on the state of the game today.

I would like to acknowledge the support of my wife, Dianne, who has assisted me in writing this book by editing my very raw manuscripts into readable form, Peter Marriott for providing my final career statistics and Dennis Lillee for his kind words. I valued the support and friendship of my co-selectors Ross Dykes, Brian McKechnie, Glenn Turner, Dion Nash and coaches Dave Trist, Denis Aberhart and John Bracewell. It has been a privilege to have been associated with NZC and the Black Caps.
For more information on Sir Richard Hadlee visit the website
And here are details of his tour plans for this week:
Tuesday August 18 – Wellington
12-2.00pm – Lunch in conjunction with the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce
- Contact: Renee Walkinshaw, Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce, Ph 04 939 9829
- Tickets $35+GST members, $45+GST non-members

6.00pm – Palmerston North City Library
- Contact: Genny Vella, Palmerston North City Library, Ph 06 351 4100
- No charge

Thursday August 20
New Plymouth
7.30-8.30am – Breakfast in conjunction with Bennys Books and the Taranaki Cricket Assoc.
– Contact: Julia Phillips, Bennys Books, Ph 06 759 4350
– Tickets $20 including breakfast

6.00-7.30pm – Talk in association with Takapuna Paper Plus
– Contact: Vanessa Kerr, Ph 09 486 7472
– Tickets: $15

Friday August 21 – Auckland
12-2.00pm – Lunch in association with the Northern Club
– Contact: John Graham, Paper Plus Glenfield Ph 09 441 7084
– Tickets: $75 (Incl 1 copy of Changing Pace), Double ticket $110 (Incl only 1 copy

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