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.
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.
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.
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.
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"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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