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My Autobiography by Dickie Bird

Just finished reading an absorbing, engaging and enthralling autobiography of Dickie Bird, the most loved and most famous cricket umpire in the world, well, at least in my living memory. It is a first time that i am reading an autobiography of an umpire and obviously he is the most loved one. Therefore it was a completely different perspective to look at cricket from the point of view of an umpire. The narrative is brilliant and flowing and he talks of his early childhood playing cricket in Barnsley in Yorkshire and thereafter his progression to a cricket umpire. There are little anecdotes of match situations thrown in liberally throughout the book. He talks of rain hit matches, sun hit matches (yes, there was one match which was stopped momentarily because the sun’s rays were being reflected upon the eyes of the fielders through the glass box of corporate boxes) crowd booing, state of the pitches, use of technology in cricket, decisions etc. The man virtually lives and breathes cricket and therefore it was an entirely refreshing book. That he has umpired some of the most famous matches in the 24 years that he was an umpire and stood when some of the most famous bowlers of the time were bowling, such as Holding, Roberts, Garner, Marshall, Lillee, Thompson, Kapil Dev, Hadlee, Botham, Underwood, etc. is by itself a sheer tribute to the man’s greatness. Highly recommended for reading for all cricket fans. 

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