Sunday, 1 May 2016

Book review - The Girls of Summer: An Ashes Year With the England Women's Cricket Team by David Tossell

David Tossell has been writing books on a range of sports for a number of years now and this latest offering is one that fits into a 'niche' heading.

In fairness, it would be wrong to say that all cricket fans are followers of the women's game, though those who are will recognise the huge strides that have been made in recent years. Thinking back to my youth, the national side seemed to be overly reliant on Enid Bakewell and Rachael Heyhoe-Flint with little else as back up.

Today, the national women's side are fitter (though not fit enough yet, according to their coach after the recent World Cup) and with better techniques. Several players are 'names' on an international scale and some hold their own in competing with and against their male counterparts. There is respect for the women's game in most quarters and rightly so.

The author was granted access to see and talk to the team as they prepared for the Ashes, attending training and social events, as well as being in the dressing room ahead of matches.

The result is a fascinating insight into not just the games, but the participants themselves. As you work through the book, you learn the personal battles faced by players, on and off the pitch, challenges no different to those faced by all on a daily basis yet often forgotten where elite sports men and women are concerned.

The book deserves to do well and is an engaging read, as one would expect from a writer of such experience.Full marks to Pitch Publishing in seeing its potential and helping to raise the stock of the women's game still further.

Long may it continue.

The Girls of Summer: An Ashes Year With the England Women's Cricket Team is written by David Tossell and published by Pitch Publishing. It is available from all good book shops, priced £12.99

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