November 4, 2010

'Agassi talked openly about his life. I've done the same'

Herschelle Gibbs on his reasons for writing a tell-all book, his friends in the side, South Africa's captains, and why he has no regrets about not having played 100 Tests
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Herschelle Gibbs played for South Africa for over a decade, for much of which time he was dubbed their "bad boy". Now in the twilight of his career, he claims to be more mature and wiser and ready to be completely honest about being the problem child of the national team. He spoke to ESPNcricinfo after the release of his autobiography.

Why did you decide to bring out an autobiography now?
I had a period of real self-reflection when I was in rehab. It was a really enlightening and self-satisfying experience. I was booked in there for a month and I decided that I may as well make every day count and be completely truthful about my life. After everything I had been through, I wanted to focus on what I'd done wrong and where I was going. Going to rehab was the most beneficial thing I did in 20 years. When the suggestion of the book came up, I thought, what better way to be completely open? I've often been asked questions about these things, so I wanted to give my opinion.

Former coach Mickey Arthur and team manager Dr Moosajee gave you an ultimatum: go to alcohol rehabilitation or you'll never play for South Africa again. Did you find it hard to believe you had a problem with alcohol?
For sure. There was a period when I did drink excessively but it wasn't like I couldn't live without it. I drank and went balls to the wall very often. But even my close mates will tell you, I've never kept alcohol in my house. The counsellors that we had at rehab said, even if you go big twice a year, you have a problem. I found that quite bizarre: if somebody drinks twice a year, they're regarded an alcoholic. If that was the case, there'd be a lot more alcoholics out there. I've cut down on my drinking a lot. I don't enjoy it anymore, and it's really quite nice to remember the things that happened the night before.

A lot of people may be turned off by chapter three, which in your words is about "women and booze". Why did you want to write about your own sexual exploits, particularly the 1997-98 tour of Australia and team orgies?
That was 12 years ago. I was in my twenties. Many people do that in their twenties. Being a cricketer doesn't make me different. I had a fantastic time in my twenties. I didn't mention any names or intend to get fellow players' names blackened. I'm not that sort of person. I put it in because it's something different readers can get from an autobiography. A lot of people said they enjoyed Andre Agassi because he talked openly about all his escapades in life. I did the same.

Besides the off-field controversies, you also revealed information about a so-called "clique" that runs the national team, consisting of Graeme Smith, Mark Boucher, Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers.
It was very obvious there was a clique and it was an issue I was asked about a lot. People could see it on television - those four guys are always together. Boucher, Kallis and de Villiers were senior players and they were outspoken, so they assisted Graeme. Graeme was powerful enough to overrule Mickey [Arthur] a lot of the time.

It sounds like you didn't get on with Mickey?
I always respected my coach, at any level that I played, and I never back-chatted him. It was understandable that Mickey would react in the way that he did to the senior players. I think it's important for a coach to have good player-management skills. Whenever I would make a suggestion in team meetings or in the field, I wouldn't get taken seriously, so I stopped making them. Now, at the Cobras and the Deccan Chargers, I am a bit more outspoken.

"[Gary Kirsten] is just a beautiful man. During his last match I cried for hours and he kept looking at me and smiling and I just couldn't stop crying"

Did you make any close friends in the national team?
Vincent Barnes [who initially started as the bowling coach] has been my closest friend over the last 20 years. Because I didn't get close to any players, I took time to know the assistant coach.

The one coach you didn't mention in the book was Ray Jennings. How did you feel about his tenure?
He wasn't coach for very long, which is why I didn't mention it. Everybody who knows Jennings knows that he is stern, and they'll have an idea of what a strong person he can be. He didn't step back for anybody and he still doesn't.

Speaking of coaches, you must be pleased to see Gary Kirsten doing so well in India. Tell us about your friendship with him.
He is doing remarkably well. A lot of people don't know that Gary can be outgoing as well. Our friendship was not only very good on the field but off it as well. We worked together so often and so strongly. Mentally we went through a lot together.

An opening partnership is a tough thing to ask people to do consistently well. There are so many factors working against you. When you go out for the first session of a Test match, you don't know what the wicket is going to do, so you have to adjust together. Our personalities complimented each other well. He is just a beautiful man. During his last match I cried for hours and he kept looking at me and smiling, and I just couldn't stop crying.

A lot of your time spent with Gary was under Hansie Cronje's captaincy. You spoke of Hansie with great fondness, even saying you forgave him for the match-fixing scandal.
I think he couldn't live with himself anymore after all the wrongdoings. He was still a great captain and a good person. He had his faults but everybody has their faults. Some are bigger than others.

You and Gary also played under Shaun Pollock. What was the atmosphere like then?
It was an unfortunate time for Polly to take over, when everything broke. He wasn't the kind of guy who socialised with the rest of us, so although it was good that he didn't get too close to any players, he also kept to himself a lot of the time.

What do you think of the captaincy now, both Smith and Johan Botha?
Graeme has been captain for a long time. When he took over, nobody wanted to be captain, and he put his hand up and said "I'll do it." To ask anyone to mature beyond their years is unfair. He has matured over the years and now he is very astute and more together. There is still a difference between him and Hansie. Graeme has got too close to a lot of the players. Johan is more like Hansie - very professional, very abrupt, but still friendly. You know where you stand with him.

Which national batsman has most impressed you recently?
I'm very glad to see Hashim [Amla] develop into more of an all-round player. He's tried to up his tempo in the one-day game. He's worked on the short ball and pulling and hooking, which he needed to do to be a successful opener.

Who do you think is the most promising bowler in the South African side?
Wayne Parnell. Being a left-armer definitely helps because we have needed one for so long. I think he's got good skills, good pace and good swing. He's also adjusted well on the international scene. It's different for bowlers because they don't have a bat in their hands - they are born with the tools they need, which makes it a lot easier to adapt. The important thing will be to look after his longevity.

Why has South Africa not been able to win a World Cup, and can the current squad can change that?
Fear of failure. It is something I've seen, having played three World Cups. In 1999 we missed out because Australia had a better net run rate than ours. The team was so together and gelled at that stage that I felt if we had gone through to the final we would have been home, Jerome.

In 2007 how we planned and how we executed was different. The way we lost out to Australia was completely unexpected. I was batting at No. 4 and couldn't believe what I was seeing. We had a meeting the night before and we decided we'd go about our business calmly, and no one was calm. When Mickey was around he'd always say we must play brave cricket, but we couldn't do it when it came to the World Cup because guys sort of froze.

The current squad has all the credentials to go the World Cup with the confidence and flair they have been missing.

During the 2007 World Cup, some of the players were accused of being overweight and unfit. Did you feel the accusations were justified?
Any professional sportsmen, besides golfers, shouldn't be overweight. I was guilty of it in 2003, although I was probably playing my most consistent cricket then, so I really couldn't say too much about the weight issue. Weight and fitness can't always be linked. For example, we had a round of golf once and had a few beers after that and still went to do the bleep test and we all passed. I think the guys have a good fitness coach now and they are all doing better. Look at Bouchie - he has never been this fit in his life. I think it's sad that people don't enjoy exercise; it's good for their own health.

You mention money, and how much you earned, many times in the book. Are South African cricketers underpaid?
Not underpaid but we don't earn as much as other cricketers. Australia, who for years were always the dominant force, deserve to get paid more. But even English cricketers get huge money compared to us.

Do you think young cricketers these days shy away from playing Test cricket because there is more money to be made in shorter versions of the game?
Over the last five or six years, cricket has changed. When I was starting out everyone always wanted to play Test cricket. Take someone like Kieron Pollard, for example, if I was in his shoes, I would want to test myself for five years, play Test cricket and see how good I really am, rather than just playing Twenty20 all around the world. Because of the money that he gets paid, he won't do that.

"People sometimes ask me if I wish I could have played 100 Tests and I say no. I am happy to have played 90 Tests and not five Tests"

Do you still want to play in the Indian Premier League?
I would like to be part of the IPL, and I don't mind which franchise I play for. We had three really good years at the Deccan Chargers but I wouldn't mind playing anywhere else. The concept came up at a good time for people on the verge of finishing, like myself. I'll be 37 next year, so I still have a good four years left. I think that they should cut down on the amount of 20-over cricket played worldwide so that the interest levels are even higher when the IPL comes around.

Are you surprised that match-fixing scandals still exist?
Very much so, I think the game is clean. Fixing a match is not easy at all. As I wrote in the book, you need at least 90% of the team to be in on it. Also, the ICC have made many awareness programmes to prevent match-fixing and the anti-corruption unit is very strong. It's unbelievable that's it's resurfaced after 10 years. In 1996 in India, Hansie offered the whole team money to throw the game. It came about again at the end of 1999. Hansie also had this power over us, so we couldn't say no. Now it's just stupid to try and do it. There is a lot more money to be made from cricket [legitimately] than there was then.

How scared were you when you were caught out?
I was pretty scared and it's not something I'm very proud of. I was actually quite relieved I didn't go through with the offer to throw my wicket away. When the King Commission happened and the findings were made, I thought that maybe if I had gone through with it, that would have been tickets for me.

Would you still like to play Test cricket?
I would like to, but I don't think I will. I don't even play four-day cricket anymore, because I think the Test team is settled. People sometimes ask me if I wish I could have played 100 Tests and I say no. I am happy to have played 90 Tests and not five Tests. I'm not a person for records.

Except on the day of the 438 game?
Well, that was different. We broke the record for chasing down the highest score in an ODI, but I didn't care about a record personally. I thought about getting 200 for about 20 seconds and I thought, "To hell with it." There were 19 overs to get those extra 25 runs, and I thought, if I get to 200 I can give it a smack after that. I would have been the first guy to get 200 there, but it didn't really interest me.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on November 6, 2010, 21:51 GMT

    I dont understand y do some ppl have to drag Sachin Tendulkar into everything!!! Y cant some losers accept the fact that he is the greatest batsman the game has ever seen(may be 2nd to bradman, bt no other batsman comes close)!!

  • imdenzil on November 5, 2010, 8:44 GMT

    @rahuja: I am very happy you weren't in Dravid's shoes. What if the 'stupid' decision actually came out after hesitating a couple of overs earlier? For the solidest reason why the declaration happened at the right time, have a look at the final outcome of the match. He had to choose between 'An assumption: That India would win in four days' and 'Winning: The top-most priority for a captain'. Tendulkar 'felt let down' (http://www.cricinfo.com/india/content/story/255244.html). What makes you think this isn't a selfish thought? Even if it only(??) lasted for a day..!!

  • on November 5, 2010, 4:07 GMT

    His record shows him up as a (very) poor man's Sehwag. While he might have had a few great days, looks like this book is an attempt to earn a buck by throwing out a few scandals and shoveling a bit of dirt because he certainly isn't a great of the game. Mind you, who hasn't written an autobiography yet?

  • on November 4, 2010, 22:31 GMT

    Herschelle Gibbs is obviously not as idiotic as he might like us to think. He has made sure that his little book of tales is bought (and maybe even read) by many people. Everybody loves a good scandal and everybody loves reading about public figures excessive lifestyles and they all think its wonderful that these people 'are able to humble themselves and come out and face the truth'. I think Herschelle regards himself a little too highly in South African cricketing realms. As far as I can work out, he's not in the team right now. Also, his comments are hardly likely to endear himself to Graeme Smith and the rest of the team and they certainly aren't going to improve his chances of playing international cricket again. Really, this book of his is nothing but a publicity stunt, to round up all his other stupid activities over the years. If only he'd spent some of that wasted time on improving his game then, who knows, maybe it would be worth reading a book about him.

  • Don_Corleone on November 4, 2010, 22:22 GMT

    Only South African Batsman I will Pay to Watch him play. Only true stroke maker from S.A in the last few years. Others are boring.....

  • SHAUNX on November 4, 2010, 21:20 GMT

    But H. Amla is not becoming an all-rounder just an all purpose batsman. Love Gibbs Style of play and I hope Kallis and Boucher Join him and retire soon.

  • mrmonty on November 4, 2010, 19:31 GMT

    There is lot of talk in these forums about somebody being a selfish run accumulator and somebody being selfless team man. You are all missing the point. All human beings are wired to seek status and fame. A supposedly selfish batsman does is by accumulating runs that gains him status and the supposed team player does it by sacrificing his wicket before landmarks so that he can project the image that he is a selfless team player (with or without him knowing so). Nobody would jump around rip their knees and elbows like Johnty Rhodes did if there was no appreciation from the team or supporters. So, both these classes of players are acting in self-interest. So, stop branding people selfish.

    And, those who think Sachin was selfish for a 200, his strike rate 150 in that innings. So, give him a break.

  • SurlyCynic on November 4, 2010, 19:13 GMT

    Hitesh Modi: GIbbs facing Garner and Croft? How old do you think he is?!?!?!?!

  • upper_tier on November 4, 2010, 19:05 GMT

    As they say - bad is good - what hapns in the dressing room should really never come out in the middle...but all this controversy will ensure the book is a commercial success - he is definitely not a cricketer the next generation should idolise - there r far betr cricketers in the world who let their bat do the talking...

  • rahuja on November 4, 2010, 17:50 GMT

    @imdenzil, why exactly is it wrong for a person to feel bad initially about a stupid decision from a part time captain. Can you look back at the match stats and give me one solid reason, why the declaration couldn't have happened couple of overs later. To Sachin's credit - he got over it before the day was done and has never ever spoken a word against that decision.

  • on November 6, 2010, 21:51 GMT

    I dont understand y do some ppl have to drag Sachin Tendulkar into everything!!! Y cant some losers accept the fact that he is the greatest batsman the game has ever seen(may be 2nd to bradman, bt no other batsman comes close)!!

  • imdenzil on November 5, 2010, 8:44 GMT

    @rahuja: I am very happy you weren't in Dravid's shoes. What if the 'stupid' decision actually came out after hesitating a couple of overs earlier? For the solidest reason why the declaration happened at the right time, have a look at the final outcome of the match. He had to choose between 'An assumption: That India would win in four days' and 'Winning: The top-most priority for a captain'. Tendulkar 'felt let down' (http://www.cricinfo.com/india/content/story/255244.html). What makes you think this isn't a selfish thought? Even if it only(??) lasted for a day..!!

  • on November 5, 2010, 4:07 GMT

    His record shows him up as a (very) poor man's Sehwag. While he might have had a few great days, looks like this book is an attempt to earn a buck by throwing out a few scandals and shoveling a bit of dirt because he certainly isn't a great of the game. Mind you, who hasn't written an autobiography yet?

  • on November 4, 2010, 22:31 GMT

    Herschelle Gibbs is obviously not as idiotic as he might like us to think. He has made sure that his little book of tales is bought (and maybe even read) by many people. Everybody loves a good scandal and everybody loves reading about public figures excessive lifestyles and they all think its wonderful that these people 'are able to humble themselves and come out and face the truth'. I think Herschelle regards himself a little too highly in South African cricketing realms. As far as I can work out, he's not in the team right now. Also, his comments are hardly likely to endear himself to Graeme Smith and the rest of the team and they certainly aren't going to improve his chances of playing international cricket again. Really, this book of his is nothing but a publicity stunt, to round up all his other stupid activities over the years. If only he'd spent some of that wasted time on improving his game then, who knows, maybe it would be worth reading a book about him.

  • Don_Corleone on November 4, 2010, 22:22 GMT

    Only South African Batsman I will Pay to Watch him play. Only true stroke maker from S.A in the last few years. Others are boring.....

  • SHAUNX on November 4, 2010, 21:20 GMT

    But H. Amla is not becoming an all-rounder just an all purpose batsman. Love Gibbs Style of play and I hope Kallis and Boucher Join him and retire soon.

  • mrmonty on November 4, 2010, 19:31 GMT

    There is lot of talk in these forums about somebody being a selfish run accumulator and somebody being selfless team man. You are all missing the point. All human beings are wired to seek status and fame. A supposedly selfish batsman does is by accumulating runs that gains him status and the supposed team player does it by sacrificing his wicket before landmarks so that he can project the image that he is a selfless team player (with or without him knowing so). Nobody would jump around rip their knees and elbows like Johnty Rhodes did if there was no appreciation from the team or supporters. So, both these classes of players are acting in self-interest. So, stop branding people selfish.

    And, those who think Sachin was selfish for a 200, his strike rate 150 in that innings. So, give him a break.

  • SurlyCynic on November 4, 2010, 19:13 GMT

    Hitesh Modi: GIbbs facing Garner and Croft? How old do you think he is?!?!?!?!

  • upper_tier on November 4, 2010, 19:05 GMT

    As they say - bad is good - what hapns in the dressing room should really never come out in the middle...but all this controversy will ensure the book is a commercial success - he is definitely not a cricketer the next generation should idolise - there r far betr cricketers in the world who let their bat do the talking...

  • rahuja on November 4, 2010, 17:50 GMT

    @imdenzil, why exactly is it wrong for a person to feel bad initially about a stupid decision from a part time captain. Can you look back at the match stats and give me one solid reason, why the declaration couldn't have happened couple of overs later. To Sachin's credit - he got over it before the day was done and has never ever spoken a word against that decision.

  • imdenzil on November 4, 2010, 16:42 GMT

    @Roberto Baggio: Spot on dude.

    @Mamidipudi Swaroop and the rest: How about his reaction to Dravid's Multan declaration. If that didn't reek of selfishness, what did?

  • first_slip on November 4, 2010, 16:42 GMT

    Herschelle is my all time Favorite oversies player, & i love His Play fullness and Skills, but felt sad about that drop catch in 99 WC (stve Wough ), anyway i wish him great future, He is my hero and i Wanted to be like him all the time when i was young, (also i am look exactly like him but play bit different though)

  • svlnmurthy on November 4, 2010, 16:20 GMT

    He has the right to tell about him self to the others What happend with him before

  • on November 4, 2010, 15:40 GMT

    Herschelle Gibbs was a rare talent with the bat.Listening to him talk, one feels he played his cricket the same way --- on the up, fearless and straight!I would have paid to watch him anyday.

  • sanj007 on November 4, 2010, 15:11 GMT

    @ denny.abr dont' worry about roberto Baggio comments, he is just upset that Tendulka made it to the 200 run mark first and not Saeed Anwar.

  • GODsDream............WC2011 on November 4, 2010, 15:10 GMT

    Why should Tendulkar must read it ?????????? if it wud have been Punter scoring first 200 then also he must not have read it........A Batsman does not care about Runs thats strange........Gibbs was exciting but spoiled.....He just wants to sell the Book any how

  • AncientAstronaut on November 4, 2010, 15:02 GMT

    @Roberto Baggio: I'm a fan of Gibbs, but Tendulkar's in the World XI. Gibbs isn't. Enough said.

  • on November 4, 2010, 14:33 GMT

    Gibbs forgot to mention coming out to open with Gary Kirten agaist the West Indies in Barbados minus a helmet, facing up to the likes of Joel Garner, Colin Croft and a battery of other pace bowlers. The reason for leaving behind the helmet remains "unsolved"

  • on November 4, 2010, 13:53 GMT

    One of the best opener Herschelle Gibbs and Tennis Ace Andre Agassi are one of the best players. It is their right to talk about anything they want openly.

  • denny.abr on November 4, 2010, 13:07 GMT

    @Roberto Baggio champ!.. u seem to think a batsmen u gets out at 199 is less selfish than one who gets 200!!....most often the fact is the 199 guy is thinking too much of the milestone, gets nervy n ends up losing his wicket!...that may explain shain watson's recent terrible failures from 80s to 100s

  • on November 4, 2010, 12:16 GMT

    Good comments made by gibbs.........good to see a person who is trying to change......

  • on November 4, 2010, 12:01 GMT

    Straight from the Heart !!! Good to see many people coming out & accepting the truth that they have done mistake.But I am not saying all youngsters should follow this. Its better not to make mistakes or be careful whenever we need to take some wrong steps or taking some big decisions. Even I am a fan of Gibbs for his batting when chasing 438 and also Hansie Cronje . I completely agree with Gibbs that Hansie made a mistake & Hansie was a great player( as per my knowledge,Hansie is the only one player who has troubled Sachin with his bowling & Captaincy !!! ). Hansie become even more great when he accepted that he made that mistake & openly asked sorry.I do understand that he made a biggest mistake & hurt many people. Unfortunately I dint see that with Azar , Jadeja , Nayan Mongia & some other PAK players. Being a human, mistakes can happen,but to accept that mistake & face the reality is great, that's what Hansie ( Great Captain ) and Gibbs did it.

  • BiSONN on November 4, 2010, 11:54 GMT

    @Roberto Baggio - Why? Because he made a 200? You say that as if it's a sin. Gibbs didn't think about a double hundred because he was in the middle of a world record run chase. India were batting first when Sachin made his double hundred so it's a COMPLETELY different situation - and let's not forget that India demolished SA in that match by more than 150 runs, so why exactly should Sachin read those lines?

  • sean_kelly on November 4, 2010, 11:39 GMT

    Looking forward to reading the book, Hirch. It's on the table waiting for me to finish the current one

  • backwardpoint on November 4, 2010, 11:30 GMT

    An amazing character. Played his best when he played against the Aussies. The only great hope for SA after Lance Klusener when it came to playing a fearless brand of cricket. I am waiting for the book to come out so I can pick it up sometime.

  • on November 4, 2010, 11:19 GMT

    I don't know where these people get this whole "Tendulkar is selfish" funda from. Most batsmen slow down near a hundred. I'd like to know one game where Sachin slowed down to the detriment of the team.

  • nivek123 on November 4, 2010, 9:05 GMT

    @Roberto Baggio... Dude, that jibe against Tendulkar was totally unnecessary over here. Looks more like you read the article just to bash Tendulkar.

  • Nuxxy on November 4, 2010, 6:52 GMT

    I just wish he would admit that his views on everything but his own experience are subjective. He perceived a clique, he perceived Smith having too much power, but he also admits to not having bonded with any players in the team. Look at the team now. Most of the supposed clique are still there, but they look more like the core that the team is built around than a clique on the fringes.

    One thing I'll agree wholeheartedly with though - matchfixing aside, Hansie Cronje was one of the best captains there has ever been, for any team.

  • evenflow_1990 on November 4, 2010, 6:36 GMT

    honesty is a good thing. when he took money in his younger days, he was very weak and hansie was very strong. it was like bullying - not really his fault. plus, he apparently didn't even follow through on the deal so he's cool. a sincere autobiography will make an interesting read thats for sure.

  • mukesh_fca on November 4, 2010, 6:28 GMT

    Im from Hyderabad ( Deccan Chargers franchise), Im not much interested in all the off field controversies, what I know is, he is a superb crickter, we would love to see u playing again for Deccan. All the best Gibbs.

  • on November 4, 2010, 6:27 GMT

    ///"To hell with it." There were 19 overs to get those extra 25 runs, and I thought, if I get to 200 I can give it a smack after that. I would have been the first guy to get 200 there, but it didn't really interest me. /// tendulkar should read these lines

  • PROTEAFAN on November 4, 2010, 6:08 GMT

    Herschelle, when you played the game for SA, you went out and gave it a full go and now, with this book, once again you are the consummate entertainer. You keep it real, and your true fans love you for that. All the best for the future.

  • Seasole on November 4, 2010, 5:57 GMT

    South Africa is one of the best cricket playing teams in the world, Although what Gibbs mentioned in his book, I personally think there is no harm in working as a unit for this current southafrican side lead by Smith and Botha. They aare good cricketers and to be honest it great fun and excitement to watch them play!!. As a pakistani I wish them success for every tourni they play

  • on November 4, 2010, 4:40 GMT

    As a young man, Gibbs sold out the game of cricket by accepting money to throw matches. As an older man, he is selling out his own team-mates to boost sales of a book. What's next, putting his granny on e-bay?

  • boris6491 on November 4, 2010, 4:34 GMT

    What I most admired from this interview was how upfront and honest he was. On some of the more sensitive issues, he wasn't afraid to speak the truth about them. I think he had his years as quite the wild child but has matured. In this regard, I think he is very similar to two players from the team I support, Symonds, who seems a much more mature person than a couple of years back and to the surprise of many people, Ponting who also had a drinking problem in his earlier years. I have always admired Gibbs as a player too not just with the bat where he is as exciting and entertaining as any but also in the field where, as Jonty's protege, he certainly made an impact. I hope that, whether it is for SA, an IPL team or the Cobras, we haven't seen the last of him.

  • avkris on November 4, 2010, 3:52 GMT

    love when people speak from their heart. congrats gibbsy, gud luck for the future. will never forget that 438 run match! thnx for that...

  • on November 4, 2010, 3:46 GMT

    Tell all autobiographies are most welcome as they demonstrate that cricket is a game grounded in reality, played by normal men with all too human failings.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on November 4, 2010, 3:46 GMT

    Tell all autobiographies are most welcome as they demonstrate that cricket is a game grounded in reality, played by normal men with all too human failings.

  • avkris on November 4, 2010, 3:52 GMT

    love when people speak from their heart. congrats gibbsy, gud luck for the future. will never forget that 438 run match! thnx for that...

  • boris6491 on November 4, 2010, 4:34 GMT

    What I most admired from this interview was how upfront and honest he was. On some of the more sensitive issues, he wasn't afraid to speak the truth about them. I think he had his years as quite the wild child but has matured. In this regard, I think he is very similar to two players from the team I support, Symonds, who seems a much more mature person than a couple of years back and to the surprise of many people, Ponting who also had a drinking problem in his earlier years. I have always admired Gibbs as a player too not just with the bat where he is as exciting and entertaining as any but also in the field where, as Jonty's protege, he certainly made an impact. I hope that, whether it is for SA, an IPL team or the Cobras, we haven't seen the last of him.

  • on November 4, 2010, 4:40 GMT

    As a young man, Gibbs sold out the game of cricket by accepting money to throw matches. As an older man, he is selling out his own team-mates to boost sales of a book. What's next, putting his granny on e-bay?

  • Seasole on November 4, 2010, 5:57 GMT

    South Africa is one of the best cricket playing teams in the world, Although what Gibbs mentioned in his book, I personally think there is no harm in working as a unit for this current southafrican side lead by Smith and Botha. They aare good cricketers and to be honest it great fun and excitement to watch them play!!. As a pakistani I wish them success for every tourni they play

  • PROTEAFAN on November 4, 2010, 6:08 GMT

    Herschelle, when you played the game for SA, you went out and gave it a full go and now, with this book, once again you are the consummate entertainer. You keep it real, and your true fans love you for that. All the best for the future.

  • on November 4, 2010, 6:27 GMT

    ///"To hell with it." There were 19 overs to get those extra 25 runs, and I thought, if I get to 200 I can give it a smack after that. I would have been the first guy to get 200 there, but it didn't really interest me. /// tendulkar should read these lines

  • mukesh_fca on November 4, 2010, 6:28 GMT

    Im from Hyderabad ( Deccan Chargers franchise), Im not much interested in all the off field controversies, what I know is, he is a superb crickter, we would love to see u playing again for Deccan. All the best Gibbs.

  • evenflow_1990 on November 4, 2010, 6:36 GMT

    honesty is a good thing. when he took money in his younger days, he was very weak and hansie was very strong. it was like bullying - not really his fault. plus, he apparently didn't even follow through on the deal so he's cool. a sincere autobiography will make an interesting read thats for sure.

  • Nuxxy on November 4, 2010, 6:52 GMT

    I just wish he would admit that his views on everything but his own experience are subjective. He perceived a clique, he perceived Smith having too much power, but he also admits to not having bonded with any players in the team. Look at the team now. Most of the supposed clique are still there, but they look more like the core that the team is built around than a clique on the fringes.

    One thing I'll agree wholeheartedly with though - matchfixing aside, Hansie Cronje was one of the best captains there has ever been, for any team.