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Mystery Spinner: The Life and Death of an Extraordinary Cricketer (Sports Classics)

Mystery Spinner: The Life and Death of an Extraordinary Cricketer (Sports Classics) by Gideon Haigh, ISBN: 9781781312742
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ISBN: 9781781312742

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Mystery Spinner: The Life and Death of an Extraordinary Cricketer (Sports Classics)

It is no mystery that today Jack Iverson is virtually unknown. An unexceptional estate agent who died in obscurity, by his own hand, he was a clumsy fielder and a hopeless batsman. But for four years he was the best spin bowler in the world. Iverson took up cricket, at the advanced age of 31, as capriciously as he left it - joining a club 3rd XI in Melbourne one day, and instantly announcing himself as the most prodigious and improbably spinner of a cricket ball. Using a technique that he appears to have perfected with a ping-pong ball, he doubled back his middle finger and found he could bowl leg breaks, top spinners and googlies, every one dropped on a perfect length and impossible to pick. Within four years he was bowling the Australian Test side to victory over England in the Ashes series of 1950-51. Then, in his moment of triumph, he retired from international cricket, and was never the same bowler again. Gideon Haigh's quest for the truth about this enigmatic, elusive man, with the strangest grip any spinner had ever used, is not just a story of a forgotten hero, but an attempt to solve the enduring riddle of Iverson's life.Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year, and voted Cricket Book of the Year, with the judges commending a 'stunning and most moving book', Mystery Spinner is a truly compelling study of how, at the highest level of sport, skill is only half the battle.

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