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  • Orion

Changing Pace

Hachette Australia

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Prose: non-fiction

Following on from his bestselling biography, Rhythm and Swing, this memoir recounts the last few years of Sir Richard Hadlee's cricketing career before describing the tumultuous period in his life that followed his retirement. He describes the way in which his life, once so successful and full of high achievement, was suddenly shattered as he experienced a debilitating heart attack that led to major surgery and shortly afterwards his marriage of twenty-two years disintegrated and came to a painful end.

He then describes how, with the help of the woman who was to become his new wife, Dianne, he picked up the pieces and created a new life, first as a cricket ambassador and commentator and then as the chairman of selectors for New Zealand Cricket. If he had hoped that at that point his life might become smoother sailing he soon found that being a cricket selector brought with it fresh challenges and exposed him to close scrutiny and criticism from the media.

This book reveals the thinking behind the selectors decisions during his tenure, the steady improvement in the national team over that time and the controversial events of the 2003 Cricket World Cup in South Africa, as well as describing the often vitriolic personal criticism levelled at Sir Richard by some sports writers and in particular Richard Boock and others at the New Zealand Herald. Along the way Sir Richard reveals the thinking behind the disciplined approach that took him to the pinnacle of achievement in his sport and that helped him bring a more defined focus to the role of selector.

In everything he has undertaken and through all his experiences, Richard Hadlee reveals himself as totally committed and passionate and this book clearly illustrates how those attributes have lead to the many successes he has enjoyed in his sport and beyond.

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