Grovel!: The Story & Legacy of the Summer of 1976

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9781905449439: Grovel!: The Story & Legacy of the Summer of 1976
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When England cricket captain Tony Greig announced that he intended to make the West Indies "grovel," he lit a fire that burned as intensely as the sunshine that made 1976 one of the most memorable summers in British history. Spurred on by what they saw as a deeply offensive remark, especially from a white South African, Clive Lloyd's touring team vowed to make Greig pay. In Viv Richards, emerging as the world's most exciting batsman, and fast bowlers Michael Holding and Andy Roberts they had the players to do it. Featuring interviews with key figures from English and West Indian cricket, Grovel! provides a fascinating study of the events and social issues surrounding one of the sport's most controversial and colorful tours—as well as addressing the decline of West Indies cricket and its loss of support in the new century. As reservoirs ran dry during Britain's longest-ever drought, a bruised and battered England team struggled to withstand the brilliance and brutality of the West Indies. The recall of battle-scarred veteran Brian Close, the frightening bombardment of England's batsmen at Old Trafford, and Holding's remarkable performance at The Oval are among the episodes vividly reproduced and discussed, while Greig explains his pre-series comments in a forthright foreword. Off the field, the 1976 series was given a vibrant backdrop and raucous soundtrack by the West Indies' fans, yet a darker undercurrent existed in a period of ongoing racial tension around the country. Featuring full statistics of the tour, Grovel! shows how 1976 heralded in two decades of West Indies world domination, changing the face of Test cricket for ever.

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About the Author:

David Tossell has been a sports journalist for more than 25 years and is the author of four previous books. Formerly executive sports editor of the Today newspaper, he is currently Director of European Public Affairs for the National Football League (NFL). A noted sports historian, his previous publication, Bertie Mee: Arsenal's Officer and Gentleman, was nominated in the British Sports Book Awards 2006. He has written two other football books, Seventy One Guns: The Year of the First Arsenal Double and Playing for Uncle Sam: The Brits' Story of the North American Soccer League, plus one on American football, The American Match.

Review:

David Tossell's excellent study of West Indies cricket...confronts all the issues fearlessly and frankly. It is a highly commended read - David Llewellyn in the Independent. Author David Tossell's wonderful ride through the summer of 1976 brings the series to life...makes the reader feel like it was yesterday - Peter Sharkey, Birmingham Post. Enough dynamite to ignite the soul of even the most somnolent cricket fan...relevant, pithy and often amusing...this is a terrific piece of work. The photographs are splendid too: look at the cover image, which captures exactly why Holding could scare a batsman witless - Andrew Baker, The Daily Telegraph "Book of the Week. David Tossell has done a fine job in setting the series in a social as well as cricketing context as he interrogates many of the main protagonists in that ill-tempered series - Independent on Sunday. 1976 was the summer when Viv Richards announced himself as the game's pre-eminent batsman and West Indies unveiled a four-paceman strategy, led by the magnificent Michael Holding, which made them the dominant force in world cricket for the next 15 years or so. David Tossell fills in the details in a highly enjoyable book, not only focusing on the cricket but also its impact on the Caribbean community in the UK, which followed the team in huge numbers and generated such a vibrant atmosphere at the grounds - Paul Grunill, cricket editor, BBC Sport website. Like watching a television documentary, the cricketing events are interspersed with some very revealing quotes from the players involved, which add to the colour and pungency of an already heady mix. Tossell also interweaves comment on the social backdrop of the era with potted histories of players and connected events. There seems to be an autobiographical tinge, which, again, adds to one's immersion in the drama. Humorous anecdotes round off a well-told tale. Eight central pages of black and white, and colour photographs convey the grace, power and drama. I enjoyed the book - it is easy to read, exciting and well written - Krishna Mahadevan, BBC Sport website reader review. Book of the month. A great read and a great book. Anyone interested in cricket will love it. But there's loads of social history as well; the hot summer, the TV and radio shows and the soundtrack of the year live son in Grovel! - Keith Topping, BBC Radio Newcastle book review show. A"ExcellentA" - Michael Atherton, SundayTelegraph. - fascinating insights into the thinking of the combatants, their motivations, and feelings towards their team-mates, opponents, selectors and even the crowd - Mad on Cricket.

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9781908051929: Grovel!: The Story and Legacy of the Summer of 1976

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ISBN 10:  1908051922 ISBN 13:  9781908051929
Publisher: Pitch Publishing, 2012
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