September 15, 2011

Australian cricket

The rise and fall of Kim Hughes

Siddhartha Talya

Rob Smyth, in the Guardian, looks back at the career of Kim Hughes, a story also captured in the book Golden Boy by Christian Ryan.

Hughes was undeniably a genius, with the qualities of the Prom King, yet perversely these led to unpopularity. Hughes was not entirely blameless, but in essence he was a thoroughly decent man whose apparent destiny to captain Australia happily ever after was compromised by factors beyond his control. His story is harder than most to distil. The main themes are the mutinous behaviour of senior players while he was Australian captain, the only partial fulfilment of his rare ability, and a horrible, grubby ending to his international career: a tearful resignation, two runs in his last four Tests, and finally a rebel tour to South Africa.

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Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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