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Crazy: My Road to Redemption By Chris Lewis

Release date: 01st September, 2017
Publisher: The History Press

List Price: £18.99
Our Price: £16.00
You Save: £2.99 (15%)
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Former England cricketer Chris Lewis, a man who featured in 32 Test matches and 53 one-day internationals, holds nothing back in the dramatic opening to his autobiography, Crazy.

The reader senses his acute fear as his plane from St Lucia lands at Gatwick airport. Outwardly calm, Lewis feels and sees accusing eyes everywhere, a sensation that makes his stomach turn. Believing he has succeeded in importing liquid cocaine worth £140,000 into Britain, Lewis is stopped by a customs officer; within minutes, the three cans of seemingly innocuous fruit drink in his luggage is discovered to contain the illegal drug. Almost immediately, Lewis knows he’s done for.

The book’s strong opening is completely captivating, not least because at no point does Lewis blame anyone else for his life’s dramatic downturn. He was the man in the wrong; it was his actions which resulted in a 13-year prison sentence of which he served half. He knows he let his family and friends down.

It’s incredible to think that sixteen years after opening the bowling in a World Cup final front of 100,000 people, a former high profile professional sportsman could be arrested and sentenced to gaol. Lewis does not shirk answering this conundrum: refreshingly, he admits he’s no ‘victim’; the only person to blame for his spectacular downfall is Chris Lewis.

Lewis grew up in Guyana and was 10 when he moved to England. He made his debut for Leicestershire nine years after arriving and within three years was playing for England. Over the following six years, he took 93 Test wickets, although his international batting average of 23 perhaps reflects the temperament of a batsman who could blow hot and cold, often during the same innings.

A few years after his Test career ended, Lewis was approached by a character involved in match fixing. He reported the approach to the ECB and the police, but despite this, Lewis feels he was cold-shouldered, many accusing him of fabricating the story for financial gain. He insists he didn’t.

Crazy is a world away from what might be called the ‘standard’ sporting biography, a fascinating mixture of heady success, a remarkable fall from grace and, hopefully for Chris Lewis, redemption.


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