Gibbs' book tells all about the intrigues in cricket
EVER wondered why books have no age restriction? Well, this book makes a compelling case for some reconsideration, at least for autobiographies of sports people.
Title: To the Point
Author: Hershelle Gibbs with Steve Smith
Publisher: Zebra Press
It is quite revealing and fascinating, and grips the imagination with its juicy details. The reader gets a generally unfiltered view of Herschelle Gibbs' take on life or rather his "Live life to the max" mantra.
Instead of couching chapters in safe-sounding euphemisms, Gibbs gets straight to the point while giving readers an inside edge into the interesting life of one of the most gifted batsmen of his generation.
Exploits of drinking, drugs and orgies are well-documented and there's also a confirmation of a suspected clique of senior players, understood to be controlling the Proteas team.
There's also the real truth behind media stories, most of which ensured Gibbs never stayed far from controversy.
The messy divorce from ex-wife Tenielle, his run-ins with the authorities, the "Monkey" racial slur, match-fixing scandal, and being dropped from the Proteas team for alcohol abuse are all fleshed out here in this potential bestseller.
No doubt this book puts an end to any hopes Gibbs might ever have of playing for South Africa again.
Mindful of the backlash this book would solicit he nonetheless writes from the heart, chronicling how his go-large-or-go-home attitude often landed him in trouble, the bizarre dropped catch in the 1999 World Cup and his stint in rehab.
The interesting part of a 16-year-old Gibbs breaking into the Western Province's A-team and on to the international stage is overshadowed by the juicy detail.
How does one skip the "Two beds, two cricketers and three women" part of the book, for the dilemma Gibbs was faced with when choosing between cricket, rugby and football back at Bishops College?
But there can be no missing some of the greatest cricketing moments Gibbs has provided over the years.
From his 1999 maiden Test century against New Zealand in Christchurch, the phenomenal 438 win over the old enemy, Australia, in an ODI at the Wanderers to the record-setting 6 sixes at the 2007 World Cup.
This book offers the reader a chance to reassess things one thought one had known about Gibbs and his Proteas career.