Book Review: “Fierce Focus” by Greg Chappell

I first read this book a year ago when I first purchased it and as an absolute cricket tragic I found it impossible to put down. In my despair at the way the Australian cricket team has been playing in recent times, I had pause to return to the book because, simply, I really enjoyed the views on cricket espoused in this tome.

Greg Chappell is one of Australia’s greatest ever cricketers and comes from a family of what could only be described as sporting royalty. He has also been a coach at state and national level as well as a selector and a commentator.

When it comes to having views on cricket, this is a man that everyone should listen to and that makes this a book that every cricket fan should read.

Much has been made about this book and the chapters in which Chappell discusses his time as Indian coach. Chappell is honest and direct about his relationships with the Indian board and players and is particularly strident in his views about Messrs Ganguly and Tendulkar. These were chapters that I could not stop reading and these chapters alone make the book worth the sticker price.

This is not a book without flaws however: cricket in Australia in the 70s and 80s through the Packer years and the underarm incident and all of the stories around it had the feeling about them when retold in this book of crossing over old ground. That is understandable given that I have read just about every book written about that era.

Chappell does however attempt to reply to the comments made in the Kim Hughes’ biography “Golden Boy” about the relationship between Chappell and Hughes which also makes fascinating reading.

This book is a cricket fan’s delight written by someone who has earned the right to be listened to by cricket fans across the world. If you do not have time to read the whole book then find a copy and read the prologue to this book. Chappell writes clearly and without fear about the state of the game and does so through recounting a conversation he had with Sir Donald Bradman prior to his death. All cricket fans MUST read it! NOW!

Final Word: One of the best cricket books I have read: not in a while but full stop and is a must for the libraries of any fan of sport in Australia let alone cricket fans.