Hot Best Seller

The Art of Captaincy

Availability: Ready to download

In cricket, the role of the captain has been consistently under-rated in recent years. In time where statistics are the fashion, the performance of batsmen and bowlers can readily be presented in terms of averages whereas the contribution of the captain is, by contrast, harder to assess. But in cricket more than any other sport the role of the leader is crucial.


Compare

In cricket, the role of the captain has been consistently under-rated in recent years. In time where statistics are the fashion, the performance of batsmen and bowlers can readily be presented in terms of averages whereas the contribution of the captain is, by contrast, harder to assess. But in cricket more than any other sport the role of the leader is crucial.

30 review for The Art of Captaincy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dakshesh Thacker

    In the body of work on sports, cricket accounts for copious amounts of literature ranging from biographies and memoirs to statistical analysis. Authors from across the Commonwealth have dedicated their lifetimes to chronicle the game which in my opinion at least in the Test format is a reflection of life. In this vast expanse, Mike Brearley's book on probably the most difficult role in the game covers a bird's eye view of the game from the captain's lens. The Art of Captaincy definitely requires In the body of work on sports, cricket accounts for copious amounts of literature ranging from biographies and memoirs to statistical analysis. Authors from across the Commonwealth have dedicated their lifetimes to chronicle the game which in my opinion at least in the Test format is a reflection of life. In this vast expanse, Mike Brearley's book on probably the most difficult role in the game covers a bird's eye view of the game from the captain's lens. The Art of Captaincy definitely requires the reader to be familiar with certain nuances of the game which come with years of engaging with the game. However, Brearley's strength lies in bringing out the people side of the game and how the game is shaped by the motivations, strengths and weaknesses of the players. There are three clear take aways from this book. First, a rudimentary approach on how to work with people in different roles and supporting them to achieve their best to reach the team's goal. Second, understanding the people of the opposition and ensuring your own preparation meets the challenge that needs to be overcome. The third and probably most debated in media is cricketing ethics. Brearley addresses certain tricky aspects of the game like sledging, appealing which impact the way the game is viewed. At all times, Brearley derives from his massive pool of experiences ranging from school to Test cricket. The book is peppered with stories of him working with some of the greats of the game like Botham, Boycott and Tony Greig. There are two sets of people who will enjoy The Art of Captaincy. The first are the cricketing purists who love the game for what it is: a contest between bat and ball much like life is a tussle between problems and solutions. Brearley's anecdotes, historical connections all bring in a clear stately aura which we now miss in the T20 era. The second are those who have an inclination psychology and people management. Insights from Brearley's experiences will provide a sporting outlook to these macro aspects of life. In conclusion, The Art of Captaincy maybe best suited for the die hard cricket fans who know the game, thereby filtering the audience it can appeal to. However, all credit goes to the writer to detail the mechanics of the mind and transport you to another era of the game which endeared it to audiences across the globe.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    Wise, gentle book with some big things to say about cricket, leadership and (in this edition) psychoanalysis. All done in such a manner that you imagine you're having a pint in the local after a day at Lords. Lovely. Wise, gentle book with some big things to say about cricket, leadership and (in this edition) psychoanalysis. All done in such a manner that you imagine you're having a pint in the local after a day at Lords. Lovely.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nick Davies

    This was a bit of a random purchase - I'm not a massive cricket fan, and have never played or coached the sport - but for a quid it seemed worth a punt. Brearley writes intelligently, without excessive boasting nor a revisionist nature that can blunt some reissued books. Though slightly dated, though I maybe would've liked a bit more discussion on applying principles of captaincy to non-cricket uses (this was left to the final few chapters of the book, after a detailed exploration of every aspec This was a bit of a random purchase - I'm not a massive cricket fan, and have never played or coached the sport - but for a quid it seemed worth a punt. Brearley writes intelligently, without excessive boasting nor a revisionist nature that can blunt some reissued books. Though slightly dated, though I maybe would've liked a bit more discussion on applying principles of captaincy to non-cricket uses (this was left to the final few chapters of the book, after a detailed exploration of every aspect of cricket), this would be well recommended to scholars or casual followers of the game.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shankar Rajesh

    This is an outstanding treatise on captaincy and the art of leadership on the cricket field. As i read through, mind you this was originally written in 1985, i came to understand how much the game has changed and as much as it is about the art of captaincy and leadership, is also a journal of the evolution of the game. For instance, Brearley talks about field settings from an era where batsmen used to play in from of their leg guard to his era when batsmen started playing with their bats close t This is an outstanding treatise on captaincy and the art of leadership on the cricket field. As i read through, mind you this was originally written in 1985, i came to understand how much the game has changed and as much as it is about the art of captaincy and leadership, is also a journal of the evolution of the game. For instance, Brearley talks about field settings from an era where batsmen used to play in from of their leg guard to his era when batsmen started playing with their bats close to the leg guard: in the former case, the field setting would be a little finer on the leg side while in the latter the field setting would be squarer. Watching and playing local cricket I see many batsmen now playing ahead of their leg guards leading to rethink on field setting for the modern day batsmen. Brearley says it is hard to measure the value of leadership and intersperses his own experience of being a psychotherapist and captaincy of Middlesex and England. He speaks about the many challenges of leadership and the many qualities and skills required to deal with the most coveted job for any sportsman - the leadership of his national side in the sport of his choice. Particularly interesting is the fact that these skills and qualities don't sit well with each other and therein lies the balancing role. How does one balance the long term vs short term, deal with the experienced and novice, democracy versus control, individual requirements vs teams etc? While this is a book about the art of leading a cricket team, it really does the principles of leadership which are common in all walks of life. A great read

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rachael Hewison

    I don't know anything about cricket; I've never followed it or know anything about it. I read this book for its discussions on leadership and management. It was incredibly interesting and gives a lot of food for thought about what makes a strong leader. It's divided into different chapters that each cover a different topic that Captains should think about from selecting the team to examining the pitch before the game. I think the first half was definitely stronger than the second half and I foun I don't know anything about cricket; I've never followed it or know anything about it. I read this book for its discussions on leadership and management. It was incredibly interesting and gives a lot of food for thought about what makes a strong leader. It's divided into different chapters that each cover a different topic that Captains should think about from selecting the team to examining the pitch before the game. I think the first half was definitely stronger than the second half and I found my interest waning towards the end. I found it difficult at times due to my lack of cricket knowledge so struggled to understand what Brearley was referring to but I'm sure those that follow cricket would have no trouble. A interesting book in leadership.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tim Atkinson

    Although enjoyable, I found Brearley's much-discussed book just a little disappointing - neither cricket manual nor memoir nor - most significantly for me - the psychologically-insightful book I'd been expecting. That said, the book is well-written, entertaining and - as far as a hybrid of the above three genres goes - a success. Although enjoyable, I found Brearley's much-discussed book just a little disappointing - neither cricket manual nor memoir nor - most significantly for me - the psychologically-insightful book I'd been expecting. That said, the book is well-written, entertaining and - as far as a hybrid of the above three genres goes - a success.

  7. 4 out of 5

    W

    Mike Brearley was one of the very few players in cricket,who wasn't good enough as a player,but played purely due to his captaincy skills.Also a rarity among cricketers as a psychoanalyst. He could get the best out of an unpredictable character like Ian Botham,as he showed in 1981.A different kind of cricket book,about the art of leadership. Mike Brearley was one of the very few players in cricket,who wasn't good enough as a player,but played purely due to his captaincy skills.Also a rarity among cricketers as a psychoanalyst. He could get the best out of an unpredictable character like Ian Botham,as he showed in 1981.A different kind of cricket book,about the art of leadership.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Roshan

    Captaincy, the one word that sums up the character, resolve, mental toughness, and pressure handling capability of an individual in team games. And, if you're an individual from the subcontinent, the ability to deal with the pressure of huge fan following and public scrutiny is a 'must add' to your curriculum vitae in terms of skill honed as a player running for the position of captaincy in a team. Team sports such as cricket, football, hockey, soccer, rugby, baseball are never played and won so Captaincy, the one word that sums up the character, resolve, mental toughness, and pressure handling capability of an individual in team games. And, if you're an individual from the subcontinent, the ability to deal with the pressure of huge fan following and public scrutiny is a 'must add' to your curriculum vitae in terms of skill honed as a player running for the position of captaincy in a team. Team sports such as cricket, football, hockey, soccer, rugby, baseball are never played and won solely on an individual's merit. And, the theory holds good for a captain's individual effort of putting his best foot forward to good effect, too. The prolific players are key to the success of a team, of course. However, in the long run, say a World Cup tournament involving many teams placing the best bet on their prospect of winning the coveted trophy at stake, for over a month and a half, it is the collective team effort which yields good results for the teams winning 99% of the times. Mike Brearley, in his masterpiece on captaincy aptly titled The Art of Captaincy, delves into the responsibilities and dilemmas of a team's captain in the game of cricket. In his work on cricket captaincy, the former player has penned down his genuine inputs on the role of a captain in cricket. He shares his vibes on traits such as positive outlook, self motivation, team motivation, ability to lead from front and by an example, and more importantly good decision making abilities which he thinks are the key and necessary ingredients in defining the role of a good captain. The former England captain feels the high demands of adapting to various situations including the defining moments of a match make average players, a flexible, thinking captain. The famous quote, A captain is as good as his team, attains a positive pinnacle through the course of the read with the author emphasizing the importance of developing and maintaining healthy team dynamics and balance. Team work is another aspect of cricket which makes a captain's job relatively easier. To illustrate the role of a captain, the author recollects and quotes as instances, various situations from his matches as captain of England and Middlesex that he found challenging. The examples on captaincy in matches resemble the various test cases that a software professional writes to check the correctness of the programed functionality. He lists the pros and cons of captaincy, its impact (the wear and tear) on the persona of the individuals who've served as captains and subsequently on the team in entirety. He throws light on various positive and negative aspects of a team game like cricket, while also laying stress on the bad practices of making the captains a scapegoat most of the time for all the wrong reasons. Mike Brearley also points out that a good captain is also a great leader. A captain's reasoning abilities and other responsibilities hold good not only within the confinement of a cricket field boundary but also in various other cricketing circles too. He adds that a good captain is most likely to be skilled at spotting talent and bringing the best out of his team, potential wise. The most desirable trait that a good captain, also a great leader possesses is that of persistence. A shrewd captain is always persistent in his individual efforts and also readily willing to persist with his players giving them a fair amount of opportunities to showcase their talent and commitment before they're written-off by the experts and critics. The author also adds, a honest, bold, and brave captain is the one born with an indispensable quality of backing his players through thick and thin. Mike Brearley himself was an average cricketer who made his playing days count through intelligent and effective captaincy. The former leader of the national team is one of the most successful captains in England's county cricket. Having said that, he also enjoyed a fair amount of success captaining England's cricket team and leading them to various memorable victories over their Ashes rivals, the Aussies. Known to be held in high regard within England's cricketing circles, chiefly for his selfless service to England cricket as an outstanding captain, The Art of Captaincy is a good leading example of things falling into place for the author as a result of choosing the right person for the right job. The former England skipper leaves no stones unturned in describing the role of captaincy as the one decisively accompanied by unwarranted public and media scrutiny. And more so to a greater degree in the modern era. The author picks certain aspects of the game like devising combative and disruptive strategies to unsettle the opposition, adapting quickly to rapid changes happening around the players in and outside of the cricket field, coping with demanding situations & play schedules, the importance of developing, adopting an alternative plan B to deal with the failure of plan A, and taking decisions keeping long term goals and benefits in mind as key to making of a good, successful captain. A captain, who is also a good team player can always be considered an added advantage during the team building process, in more ways than one. The various out of the box peculiar tactics deployed by wily captains like Douglas Jardine and Nasser Hussain against the likes of Sir Donald Bradman and Sachin Tendulkar respectively, to contain these run machines vaguely indicate the manner in which the art of captaincy has evolved over time and different eras. While Jardine's strategy against Bradman during the infamous Bodyline series was aggressive, provocative, and lethal at times; Hussain's mind games against Tendulkar during the 2001-02 test series in India and England were a negative, nerve-racking strategy that served as a test of character for the maestro. Since Mike Brearley's last test match, the game of cricket has witnessed several revisions in the rules and regulations of test cricket. There a few test captains who've overhauled his impeccable test success record as captain, to name a few Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting and more recently Virat Kohli. And there are quite a few who have matched his captaincy skills, if not overhauled him. The likes of Clive Llyod, Hansie Cronje, Graeme Smith, Michael Vaughan, Shaun Pollock, Sourav Ganguly, Michael Clarke were all great captains of their respective national teams and boast of commendable test success as captains. The various developments that have taken effect in the game of cricket in the modern era has ensured that the captains have it tough on them compared to the captains who played the game during years prior to the decade of 1980-1990. The Art of Captaincy gets an artful and playful three on five from my side. Having been a keen follower of cricket for many years, reading this book brought out refreshing memories of a few highly competitive test matches that took shape during my growing years and the kind of captaincy put into effect by the captains of both sides during those matches. The familiarity with the equations of captaincy on display was there to be sensed, appreciated, and cherished. This book could be termed as Volume 1 off the many on cricket captaincy by several other successful captains, for, the author gives his deep insight on basics of captaincy which also are in accordance with what the legendary cricket experts call - 'Playing by the book of old school cricket technique'

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rob Markley

    Mike Brearley is regarded as one of the great captains and indeed seems to have a reputation as a thinker and perhaps psychologist (where he at least has a deep interest). This book is supposed to be an insightful leadership text too. However only the first and last chapters give much insight into overall leadership with the rest being an interesting, discussive style of writing; looking at all aspects of a cricket captains job - not least the tricky issue of leading a bunch of young men, with a Mike Brearley is regarded as one of the great captains and indeed seems to have a reputation as a thinker and perhaps psychologist (where he at least has a deep interest). This book is supposed to be an insightful leadership text too. However only the first and last chapters give much insight into overall leadership with the rest being an interesting, discussive style of writing; looking at all aspects of a cricket captains job - not least the tricky issue of leading a bunch of young men, with all that implies! No doubt the role of captain has been partly usurped by the coach in the present era and so there is an aspect of historical anachronism to the discussion. Notwithstanding this there are many very interesting anecdotes, especially for those who remember cricket and cricketers of the 70's and 80s'. The 'discussive' style is highly reflective rather than prescriptive and has implications. Firstly on the up side, it brings out a huge amount of detail and makes one aware of just how broad and multifaceted such a role is, and this is quite expansive to the outlook. But secondly it is quite self depreciating being filled with mistakes made and hard lessons learned - such that Brearley very possibly does himself a disservice in diminishing the impact his captaincy perhaps had.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nishant Bhagat

    This book is considered to be a must-read for all cricket players as well as fans. Though I must say I found it a little dated on many counts. The modern game has changed by leaps and bounds in the last decade and hence some of the 'ground realities' may not be as relevant to a student of the game. Having said that, it by no means diminishes the pearls of wisdom shared by the author. On a cricket field they are extremely essential. However, I am not sure if they are as applicable to say the worl This book is considered to be a must-read for all cricket players as well as fans. Though I must say I found it a little dated on many counts. The modern game has changed by leaps and bounds in the last decade and hence some of the 'ground realities' may not be as relevant to a student of the game. Having said that, it by no means diminishes the pearls of wisdom shared by the author. On a cricket field they are extremely essential. However, I am not sure if they are as applicable to say the world of business. So if you are an ardent student of the game or work in the areas closer to cricket then this book is worth a read. Those that are interested in more generic information on leadership can give this book a miss.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Matt Gosney

    I think I actually read this before but with my memory I do not know. It is however, a great look at his time in charge of teams throughout the 80s, if you are looking for something to take away for leadership in businesses, I would not bother. It is more a book I would give to a promising 12 year old who aspires to captain cricket teams in the future, fielding team instructions, ways to analyse the dressing room, how your bowler is going and the ways batsmen prepare. It has its place, just not I think I actually read this before but with my memory I do not know. It is however, a great look at his time in charge of teams throughout the 80s, if you are looking for something to take away for leadership in businesses, I would not bother. It is more a book I would give to a promising 12 year old who aspires to captain cricket teams in the future, fielding team instructions, ways to analyse the dressing room, how your bowler is going and the ways batsmen prepare. It has its place, just not within the business section. Listen to your people and treat individuals as they are, that's what you will take away from it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Matt Fallaize

    Ostensibly a cricket book, but there's plenty here that could transfer across to management in general. Brearley, noted for getting the best out of the players around him, has a lot of interesting things to say about how to handle individuals, how to run a team, how to ensure you yourself are doing the best job you can. An interesting read if you've even a passing interest in cricket, and even non-fans could find some food for thought. Some of the player anecdotes do belong to a bygone age thoug Ostensibly a cricket book, but there's plenty here that could transfer across to management in general. Brearley, noted for getting the best out of the players around him, has a lot of interesting things to say about how to handle individuals, how to run a team, how to ensure you yourself are doing the best job you can. An interesting read if you've even a passing interest in cricket, and even non-fans could find some food for thought. Some of the player anecdotes do belong to a bygone age though, as Brearley himself notes, many problems that we regard as modern nuisances are age-old.

  13. 4 out of 5

    James Kelly

    Mike Brearley was the captain of England when I was a youngster, and he was absolutely brilliant. he probably wouldn't have opened for England without the additional skills of tactical acuity and man-management he brought. So often I watched in awe as his chee-grandmaster-like mind worked out the problems his side was facing and found inspirational answers. He was a hero to me then, and still is now, although today he is as much a hero for his erudite and readable books and his elegant and witty Mike Brearley was the captain of England when I was a youngster, and he was absolutely brilliant. he probably wouldn't have opened for England without the additional skills of tactical acuity and man-management he brought. So often I watched in awe as his chee-grandmaster-like mind worked out the problems his side was facing and found inspirational answers. He was a hero to me then, and still is now, although today he is as much a hero for his erudite and readable books and his elegant and witty public speaking. Captain, my Captian.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michael Macdonald

    Fascinating insight into professional cricket Hard work if you are not a cricket fanatic but a rewarding exploration of what makes a difference in this complex tactical sport. Brearley patiently sets out his detailed preparation and strategic planning that delivered great results for England.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Barney Trafford

    Brilliant As much about philosophy as it is about captaincy, this book gives a great insight into everything about being a captain and whilst it is talking in the main about the professional game there are common themes for all levels.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Varun Sharma

    Good read. Though it primarily focuses on cricket, this bookactually is a crossover between cricket and management (how to handle individuals, how to get the best out of a team, etc.). If you are a cricket-lover, you'll definitely enjoy it. Good read. Though it primarily focuses on cricket, this bookactually is a crossover between cricket and management (how to handle individuals, how to get the best out of a team, etc.). If you are a cricket-lover, you'll definitely enjoy it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ankit Modi

    A light, gentle book on Cricket, captaincy & leadership. Some of the memoirs are pleasing - especially the ones involving Botham. Cricket is the backdrop but Mike gives a generic understanding of team dynamics, protecting individuality & leading well.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rakesh

    One of the finest writings about the game of cricket and the virtues of leadership.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ian Evans

    One for the cricket aficionados.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ramaswamy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. cricket

  21. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    I should say first of all that I discovered cricket a mere six years ago, and as an adult in Germany. What sets cricket apart from other sports is the quality of the writing on the subject. Football is a game to be watched, cricket is a game to read about - or to listen to on the radio, as fans of 'Test Match Cricket', or in short TMS, on BBC Radio will confirm. The 'king of games' has given the English language numerous metaphors and idioms, and wordsmiths of the highest caliber have repaid it I should say first of all that I discovered cricket a mere six years ago, and as an adult in Germany. What sets cricket apart from other sports is the quality of the writing on the subject. Football is a game to be watched, cricket is a game to read about - or to listen to on the radio, as fans of 'Test Match Cricket', or in short TMS, on BBC Radio will confirm. The 'king of games' has given the English language numerous metaphors and idioms, and wordsmiths of the highest caliber have repaid it by writing some very fine literature on the subject of wickets, boundaries, batsmen and bowlers. Mike Brearley is of course a household name for English cricket fans, a man who was twice captain of the England team - being recalled when his successor, although one of the greatest players England ever had, failed as a captain. Brearley instead is seen as someone who, as a player, never fulfilled his potential completely, but whose psychological skill - he became a psychoanalyst by profession - made him one of the outstanding captains at least of his age and nation. Brearley in later life earned a reputation as a lecturer on leadership and a speaker and advisor to business leaders, and his book is spoken of as a source for anyone searching such knowledge. This is what I expected when I set out to read it. I have read wonders on this book as a sort of key to psychological management of teams and people, and Brearly being described as almost a guru. The man is likeable and his prose is as pleasant as you'd expect from a Cambridge graduate, but the book is not the fireworks it's made out to be. It starts off with all the charm of a chronicle written by some medieval monk (as if you'd read a book on German football making frequent mentions of players like Norbert Nigbur, Karl-Heinz "Kalle" Delheye, and Norbert Dietz), contains at least two chapters on field placements that feel each as if they were 80 pages long and would better be replaced by 20 pages of diagrams (and in fact they contain all the typos to be found in the book, because everyone dozed off reading them, including the author). What Brearley says about team management sounds mostly like plain common sense. Anyone who is interested in psychological matters will find that reading the first and the last two chapters will yield 85% of the wisdom contained on such matters in the book, and that the rest can be fairly uninteresting to anyone who is not a scholar of the game, and particularly interested in cricket in English county cricket between 1950 and 1980.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Readosaurus

    http://readosaurus.blogspot.com.es/20... http://readosaurus.blogspot.com.es/20...

  23. 5 out of 5

    James Fountain

    With a brief Foreword by Sam Mendes, this magnificent book is ideal for anyone interested in the psychology of man-management within sport, and outside it's realms. Mendes himself imparts that he found the book instructive in how to manage his film crew on the set of American Beauty: it is interesting how the worlds of sport and film can be so similar when stripped down to their essentials. I have always felt we can learn a lot from sport and sportsmen/women, their worlds are mere projections of With a brief Foreword by Sam Mendes, this magnificent book is ideal for anyone interested in the psychology of man-management within sport, and outside it's realms. Mendes himself imparts that he found the book instructive in how to manage his film crew on the set of American Beauty: it is interesting how the worlds of sport and film can be so similar when stripped down to their essentials. I have always felt we can learn a lot from sport and sportsmen/women, their worlds are mere projections of our own onto a stage, but unlike most human beings, their actions are analysed by millions, sometimes hundreds of millions. How to handle such a group of people in this situation, to guide them, punish them when they are out of line, encourage them when they are on debut, or at county level, how to develop uncertain young talent, to motivate players who have been in the game for thirty years or more - all of these are given deft and wise advice by Brierley, king of captains with Middlesex and England, and who guided and directed Botham, Willis, Gower, Boycott et al to the famous victory over Australia in the 1981 Ashes. How he managed and motivated Botham, in particular, a firebrand of a character and player, is of great interest, but equally the young Simon Hughes at 18 years of age, nervously starting out at Middlesex, and his team on the slide: 'Which bowler would you put on next, if you were captain?' - was the question world-renouned captain Brierley asked him. The empowerment and cohesion this kind of question added to his teams, allied to the selflessness it implies is why Mike Brierley is one of the most respected sporting leaders of the last fifty years. Managers of any description would be well advised to read it, and anyone who aspires to leadership.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Huw Rhys

    You don’t have to be a cricket fan to appreciate this book. In fact, if you’ve ever been in a position of managing other people, you’ll take a tremendous amount out of this book; if you’ve had to interact with other people, you’ll also find a great deal that resonates within these pages – and even if you don’t interact with other people at all, you’ll still find this a very good read. Mike Brearley is a writer and a well respected Psychoanalyst. For a few years in the 1970’s and 80’s, he was a hi You don’t have to be a cricket fan to appreciate this book. In fact, if you’ve ever been in a position of managing other people, you’ll take a tremendous amount out of this book; if you’ve had to interact with other people, you’ll also find a great deal that resonates within these pages – and even if you don’t interact with other people at all, you’ll still find this a very good read. Mike Brearley is a writer and a well respected Psychoanalyst. For a few years in the 1970’s and 80’s, he was a highly successful captain of the England cricket team, often leading his side to unlikely victories, widely attributed to his remarkable powers of leadership, his mixture of tactical astuteness allied to his highly acclaimed man management skills. There is no black magic box revealed here though – no off the wall theory and practice of how to manage people. Just oodles and oodles of common sense, self awareness and sensitivity towards those around him. He gives example after example of difficult situations, but doesn’t try to over egg his own contribution to the positive outcomes in most scenarios – he simply states things as they were, and explains how a difficult situation was put right. There is something here for everyone – some anecdote that can be applied to most situations. He freely invokes leaders, literary figures, poets and pop stars – it shows what a rounded individual he is. He is articulate, urbane, sensitive and self deprecating in equal measures; above all else, he comes across as a thoroughly decent person, flawed like the rest of us – but probably more self aware of his flaws than most of us. This is probably what makes this such an utterly compelling read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Crawford

    This is a book about cricket, and being a captain as it should be applied to cricket; there wasn't a lot reflecting Brearley's psychotherapeutic skills. There are some enjoyable anecdotes but if I were to suggest one improvement it would be to use the style used by Christopher Alexander et al in A Pattern Language where each pattern opens with a picture followed by an introductory paragraph which sets the context; three diamonds mark the beginning of a problem, the problem is a headline in bold This is a book about cricket, and being a captain as it should be applied to cricket; there wasn't a lot reflecting Brearley's psychotherapeutic skills. There are some enjoyable anecdotes but if I were to suggest one improvement it would be to use the style used by Christopher Alexander et al in A Pattern Language where each pattern opens with a picture followed by an introductory paragraph which sets the context; three diamonds mark the beginning of a problem, the problem is a headline in bold type, then comes the body of the problem (always the longest section) then comes the solution, again in bold type, which is always stated in the form of an instruction, and three diamonds mark the conclusion of a problem. This book can be read quickly just be reading the bold type; Brearley has so many useful truisms that to have them identified in bold type would help to cut to the chase. Reading with a pencil in hand has helped me to refresh Brearley’s message but an editor’s use of bold type would have turned this into an outstanding book. CJHD 15-Jul-12

  26. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    I've had one season of cricket captaincy already with a team that needed me as an internal diplomat, and not as a captain. It was a difficult season, and one I don't ever plan to repeat. This year I've come down with another bout of captaincy at a club that I like and with lads that I respect, and where I think I have earned the respect I didn't have the last time. I thought it might be best if I got a different perspective on captaincy, and that's what led me to this book. Despite being dated by I've had one season of cricket captaincy already with a team that needed me as an internal diplomat, and not as a captain. It was a difficult season, and one I don't ever plan to repeat. This year I've come down with another bout of captaincy at a club that I like and with lads that I respect, and where I think I have earned the respect I didn't have the last time. I thought it might be best if I got a different perspective on captaincy, and that's what led me to this book. Despite being dated by his experiences in the 1970's and 80's, Brearley is astute enough to make the lessons timeless. His insight into the game is pertinent to every form and to every team, and his examples are enlightening. I'm not going to dress it up as a 'Management and Leadership' book, but I've read it only for my purposes. That said, this is a book I'm sure I will need to return to over the years and I expect I'll always find new insight. Very highly recommended.

  27. 4 out of 5

    David Jennings

    This book starts and ends very well. Brearley's insights on the captain's role - from charisma to consultation - are as wise and sophisticated as you'd expect from his reputation. In between there are some surprisingly pedestrian passages that take you through a kind of captaincy-manual-by-numbers. There are extended passages where the fascinating analysis of the nuances of the sport are few and far between - little oases amid a dry landscape of prescriptions for management of net practice and m This book starts and ends very well. Brearley's insights on the captain's role - from charisma to consultation - are as wise and sophisticated as you'd expect from his reputation. In between there are some surprisingly pedestrian passages that take you through a kind of captaincy-manual-by-numbers. There are extended passages where the fascinating analysis of the nuances of the sport are few and far between - little oases amid a dry landscape of prescriptions for management of net practice and making the choice between light and heavy roller in different parts of the world. The latter, surely, are not what made Brearley Brearley. Within this book is a good 10,000 word essay on the things that did - you just have to edit it together in your head.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Paul Miller

    I'd wanted to read this for a long time - this is from a leading figure in cricket through my youth and a recognised great cricket captain. I don't think this is a reference book by any means. In its day I can imagine that it was ahead of its time - especially in the world of sport but these days it has been outdated by progress in the theory of most sports but also by management literature. The original premise was that some of the things Mike picked up could transfer to other fields - I think I'd wanted to read this for a long time - this is from a leading figure in cricket through my youth and a recognised great cricket captain. I don't think this is a reference book by any means. In its day I can imagine that it was ahead of its time - especially in the world of sport but these days it has been outdated by progress in the theory of most sports but also by management literature. The original premise was that some of the things Mike picked up could transfer to other fields - I think they already were but there was a shortage of literature about it. What I most enjoyed about the book was the insight into the cricketers he played with and the occasional anecdote. He's honest and humble and writes well.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rajesh Sabapathy

    The last time I captained a cricket team of any level was a little over 3 years ago and I made a mess of it. From picking the team, to the batting order, to on-field decisions, to my own behaviour - it was a catastrophe. It remined me of my failures in leading cricket teams back when I was in school. Even though I could play really well, I somehow missed the plot when it came to managing people. It was with this background that I picked this book up, and it delivered. Brearley is a qualified psy The last time I captained a cricket team of any level was a little over 3 years ago and I made a mess of it. From picking the team, to the batting order, to on-field decisions, to my own behaviour - it was a catastrophe. It remined me of my failures in leading cricket teams back when I was in school. Even though I could play really well, I somehow missed the plot when it came to managing people. It was with this background that I picked this book up, and it delivered. Brearley is a qualified psycho-analyst and reading about how he handled a team with Willis and Botham in it was enlightening. If I were to recommend this to someone, it would be Michael Clarke :P

  30. 4 out of 5

    Vaibhav Gupta

    The bible of captaincy from one of the finest captains to have played the game and also described by Rodney Hogg as "having a degree in people". The book gives you lessons much beyond the cricket field and provides valuable lessons for life to understand people and get the best out of them. A book which i reread trying to also clues to how the mind of Indian captain Dhoni works with his unconventional albeit highly successful decision making streak extending across so many years. Somehow this bo The bible of captaincy from one of the finest captains to have played the game and also described by Rodney Hogg as "having a degree in people". The book gives you lessons much beyond the cricket field and provides valuable lessons for life to understand people and get the best out of them. A book which i reread trying to also clues to how the mind of Indian captain Dhoni works with his unconventional albeit highly successful decision making streak extending across so many years. Somehow this book made watching cricket on TV an even more enjoyable experience with you trying to understand the decision making process that a captain would be going through in various scenarios.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.