Worth the Wait by Darren Lehmann

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The Independent Culture

He is also a first-hand reporter of his experience in being part of the most successful team in the game's history and it is his reading of the present touring gladiators, their personalities and their quirks, that makes this a fascinating account. The fast bowlers always make a lot of noise, either personally or electronically. The batsmen are quieter, more introspective.

Before Steve Waugh the famous baggy green Australian cap was almost commonplace in that a new cap was awarded for every series. Since Waugh, each player gets just one cap to last his career and that is awarded in a private ceremony by a former player (Simon Katich received his from Richie Benaud before the start of play at Headingley).

Lehmann deals with the scandals of his time, his own pain at losing dearest friend David Hookes, his shame at being reported for racist remarks during a match against Sri Lanka, the Warne drugs incident, World Cup fire with Pakistan and the novelty, if that's the word, of playing for Yorkshire and his part in their successes in 2001-02. There is the unintentional humour of recounting how he heard about the significance of the Roses match from Gavin Hamilton.

But above all this is the life and times of a turn-of-the-century Aussie cricketer, one of a renowned band treated like royalty - no queuing, free drinks all night - at home. Russell Crowe? "Just like us guys, loves his cricket, loves a beer, loves a joke."