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  • July 19, 2018 12:36 AM PDT

    It reads like a volume of the Famous Five, except that all the adventures happen on the sports field. Jari Kurri Jersey . AB: The Autobiography is a romantic account of a boy with big dreams who becomes a man for whom so many of those come true.The story starts with what may be considered AB de Villiers finest moment as a cricketer, when he broke the record for the fastest hundred in an ODI, against West Indies in January 2015. We already know all the numbers: the fifty came off 16 balls, the century off 31, and the 16 sixes equalled the record for the most hit in an ODI, so perhaps the most startling fact is that de Villiers wanted David Miller to go in ahead of him after the openers posted 247 inside 39 overs.Selflessness has defined de Villiers career. He is often spoken about as the ultimate team man, and the reader gets a sense of how that came about when the story goes back to de Villiers childhood. As the youngest of three brothers, he was forced to carry drinks and field while his brothers did the real stuff. It taught him to be tough, although at the time it occasionally made him want to cry.De Villiers does not shy away from emotions in the book, most notably when he reveals his religious convictions. He recalls two incidents that brought him close to God - one as a schoolboy and one after South Africas 2008-09 victory over Australia. Both brought him to tears and the second one also changed him as a sportsman, he writes.By 2008, which merits its own chapter in the book, de Villiers had decided that it wasnt going to be enough for me to be just another run-of-the-mill international batsman with an average in the mid 30s, and promised myself I would become the best batsman in the world.To do that he needed to give up his partying lifestyle, which he admitted was at one stage getting out of hand, perfect his technique, and professionalise. In a nuts-and-bolts section titled Crossroads he details how he assembled a support team around himself, which included an agent, a financial adviser and a personal assistant. It reads like a how-to guide to becoming a modern sportsperson, and will be fascinating for those who hope to follow in de Villiers footsteps.The results of those efforts saw de Villiers play major roles in South Africa winning in England and Australia for the first time since readmission, in their unbeaten run on the road that started in 2006 and only ended in 2015, and in their rise to No. 1. He recalls matches, some in elaborate detail, and makes regular reference to how South Africas success was founded on the strength of the captain, Graeme Smith. We were privileged to play for such a captain, de Villiers writes.In that time, he also watched the game change from a purely national sport to a multi-formatted beast, and to a club game, and he gives the sense that he is uncomfortable with the shifting ethos. In one passage he reveals how the childlike joy he once had was dimmed by the cluttered schedule and constant treadmill of life on the road.The type of international tour that had once seemed such an adventure for a tight-knit group of 16 players, who were bonded by embracing so many different experiences in so many different places, had been transformed into some kind of military operation where, almost every day, someone would pack their bags and take a taxi to the airport and someone else would arrive, bleary-eyed, carrying their suitcase into the hotel foyer. It was increasingly difficult to predict who would be sitting beside you at breakfast the next morning, he writes. Thats not to say de Villiers does not support the growth of T20 leagues. Quite the opposite. He writes glowingly about the IPL and predicts it will only become bigger. The Indian Premier League will surely continue to grow and develop, leading the evolution of the game in many respects and I hope to participate for a few more years.But he remains nostalgic about the traditions of cricket as a national sport, and his optimism about the future of Test cricket is reassuring. In my view, Test cricket will continue to be played for many decades to come, played in daylight hours, played with a red ball and played in white clothing. It will continue because it remains the preferred format of a strong group of spectators, whose numbers are not declining and whose passion is not diminishing. I count myself as a member of this audience and I will be watching Test cricket for many years after I stop playing.So too is his admission that his desire for an ICC trophy has not dimmed. De Villiers has a recurring dream in which he takes a catch at cover to win South Africa the World Cup final and he suggests he will keep playing if he thinks he can achieve that.That pretty much sums up the man as we know him: an eternal optimist, a member of a band of brothers, a patriot. He spends a chapter explaining his hopes for South Africa as a country and praising its resilient spirit, revealing how he came to write South Africas team song, which they belt out after every victory. He writes with an innocence about how much he thinks can go right.Controversy barely crops up, with oblique references to the 2007 World Cup, when South Africas players were accused of drinking too much and cramping. De Villiers flatly denies that was the case. The 2015 World Cup semi-final selection is touched on but he is careful not to apportion blame.The timing of this book - while de Villiers is still a cricketer on the circuit - perhaps limits how much he could say about issues that concern him. In any case, those things may always remain unsaid because ultimately de Villiers is like a Famous Fiver who never ages - on a life of endless holiday and adventure.AB: The Autobiography by AB de Villiers Pan Macmillan 328 pages, R350 Kris Russell Jersey . Kozun faked to the forehand and beat Monsters starter, Calvin Pickard, pad side in the second round for the winner. Spencer Abbott also scored in the shootout for the Marlies (25-13-4). Ty Rattie Jersey . -- Jimmy Walkers first PGA Tour trophy came with a special gift tucked inside. .Y. - Free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, fresh off winning the World Series with Boston, reached agreement with the rival New York Yankees on a seven-year contract worth about $153 million, a person familiar with the negotiations said Tuesday night. MILWAUKEE -- Starling Marte left with back tightness during his first start since returning to the Pittsburgh Pirates following a 16-game absence caused by lower back discomfort.Marte immediately grabbed his lower back after fouling off a pitch from Brewers starter Chase Anderson in the third inning Thursday night. Manager Clint Hurdle and trainer Todd Tomczyk stood with Marte near home plate as he slowly walked in a circle. After a feww moments, the trio headed to the Pirates dugout, and the Pirates later announced his injury. Buy Cheap Oilers Jerseys. Matt Joyce pinch hit for Marte and flied out on a 1-2 pitch.Marte singled to center in his first at-bat Thursday. He also pinch hit in the eighth inning of a 4-1 win Wednesday night and struck out looking. Nike NFL Jerseys China Jerseys NFL Cheap Cheap NFL T-shirts Wholesale NFL White Jerseys Wholesale NFL Camo Jerseys China Jerseys Cheap Jerseys China ' ' '