Three takes on The Ashes -- David 'Bumble' Lloyd and Phil 'The Cat' Tufnell play for laughs, while Simon Hughes turns on the analysis

With the latest battle for the Ashes little more than a month away, the cricket book market welcomes a number of new titles, headed by Sky TV star David 'Bumble' Lloyd's latest collection of anecdotes and observations from the quirkiest voice in cricket.

Bumble has seen cricket from just about every angle -- player, coach, umpire and commentator -- and the collection of sideways views and hilarious stories that made up Start the Car: The World According to Bumble thrust Accrington's favourite son into the bestseller lists.

Now, just in time for England's Test cricket showdown with Australia, he follows up with The Ashes According to Bumble, which continues in the same vein, with a special accent on the biggest rivalry in the game.

Publishers HarperSport promise "a whole new cricket bag full of yarns from his years on the pitch and in the commentary box...more tales of Bumble’s time rubbing shoulders (and chinking glasses) with the great (as well as not so great) and good (as well as bloody awful) of cricket and more than a few stories of Bumble’s encounters with the Aussies over the years. But that’s not to say this will be any less rambling, madcap and downright fun than we’ve come to expect."

Like Start the Car, the ramblings are brought to order by the skilled hand of journalist Richard Gibson, who also worked with England stars Graeme Swann and Jimmy Anderson on their successful autobiographies.

Another well-known cricket voice and bestselling author, Simon Hughes, turns his attention to the Ashes in Cricket's Greatest Rivalry: A History Of The Ashes in 10 Matches.

Hughes, the former Middlesex seamer, won William Hill Sports Book of the Year in 1997 for A Lot of Hard Yakka, his account of life on the county cricket circuit.  He also won the Royal Television Society's Sports Pundit of the Year Award in 2002 during his stint as The Analyst for Channel Four's cricket coverage.

He combines both his analytical and writing skills in what publishers Cassell describe as "a gripping, distinctive history of the iconic, 135-year-old cricketing rivalry between England and Australia (in which) Hughes selects each match as a narrative spine packed with thrillingly evocative detail, alongside the issues, controversies, heroes and villains of each match."

Meanwhile, Phil Tufnell, another ex-player enjoying a media career, follows up Tuffers' Cricket Tales with Tuffers' Alternative Guide to the Ashes, in which the former left-arm spinner with the cheeky chappie persona -- sometimes known as "The Cat" -- recalls some of his own Ashes moments along with a host of other stuff relating to England and Australia.

In publisher Headline's words, Phil recounts "heroic performances, personal 'Cat-astrophes', bonkers selections, cultural clashes between Poms and Ockers, slanderous sledges, dubious tactics, odd superstitions, touring high-jinx and nail-biting finishes are all on the agenda as Tuffers, who played in five Ashes series without ever getting close to getting his hands on the famous urn, aims to discover the key to winning what is the ultimate prize for any English or Australian cricketer."

The Ashes According to Bumble, by David Lloyd

Cricket's Greatest Rivalry: A History Of The Ashes in 10 Matches, by Simon Hughes

Tuffers' Alternative Guide to the Ashes, by Phil Tufnell



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