15 December 2010 by Roy Barford

Herschelle Gibbs gets To the Point

Herschelle Gibbs’ biography, To the Point, is a great Christmas gift for any cricket fan. It’s an easy read, revealing much about one of South Africa’s most talented and controversial sportsmen.

The Proteas batsman has always done things his own way, and his latest book is no different. He talks openly about his many drunken escapades, the match-fixing scandal of 2000 and, of course, his 20 years of first-class cricket. To the Point gives his take on relationships, one-night stands, alcohol and the one time he smoked marijuana, as well as cricketers he gets on with and those he finds arrogant.

Gibbs is easily my favourite cricketer. He’s a flamboyant batsman with a refreshing sense of cockiness about him. Off the field, he speaks his mind publicly, which is rare in South Africa’s largely conservative sporting community.

He’s also one of the game’s great entertainers - remember that 175 he knocked to help South Africa score 438 and beat Australia at the Wanderers in 2006? In his book he reveals how he did that with a massive hangover.

Gibbs could have played professional rugby, soccer and perhaps a few other sports if he wanted. As a batsman, he had unlimited talent, typified by the way he used to sweep the world’s fastest bowlers with a smile on his face.

In To the Point, he shares his thoughts about why the Proteas have underperformed since 2000, and states that he really hopes to be part of the 2011 World Cup in India.

The book reads as if he is telling his story to a few mates at the pub. It’s certainly not the most concisely written biography, but it is still very gripping and hard to put down.

To the Point is available at all leading bookstores in South Africa, for between R180 and R200.

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