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Driving Ambition My Autobiography By Andrew Strauss

Release date: 10th October, 2013
Publisher: Hodder & Staughton

List Price: Ł20.00
Our Price: Ł10.51
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In the wake of Kevin Pietersen’s disastrous spell as England captain (yes, it’s still difficult to comprehend his appointment), the nation turned to Andrew Strauss. A solid, dependable, brave sole and, according to those who knew, a natural leader of men.

With the England cricket team at rock bottom, Strauss was considered the right man to extricate them from the mire. Yet he made the most inauspicious start imaginable. In his first game at the helm, Strauss scored 7 and 9 and England were bowled out for 51 in their second innings, thereby losing by an innings to the West Indies at Sabina Park. As captaining debuts go, it couldn’t get much worse.

It says much about Andrew Strauss that he not only recovered from such an awful start, but would, within two years, lead England to the pinnacle of the world’s Test cricket rankings.

Strauss appears destined to become England captain, despite being born in South Africa. His joy at being beckoned to the national team (a call he heard about on the giant screen at Lord’s) is evident – as are his nerves.

The panic proved unfounded. In 2004, against New Zealand, Strauss became only the fourth man to score a century at Lord's on his Test debut. He made 112 in the first innings and 83 in the second. He would go on to register three centuries in England's first win in South Africa for 40 years and in 2005 was voted Wisden’s Cricketer of the Year.

Strauss would captain England 50 times in a 100-Test career, leading them through a particularly turbulent period to number one in the world. Much of his story has already been told in two earlier books: The Story So Far, published in 2006 and Winning the Ashes Down Under, published in 2011. Here, however, this well-educated man (who could have just as easily become an accountant after graduating from university) is afforded more space to expand and reveal more of a character which comfortably mixes modesty with, well, driving ambition, in what proves an engrossing read.


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