Hershelle Gibbs’ tell-all book becomes best-seller

Johannesburg: A tell-all book about South African cricket by batsman Hershelle Gibbs was sold out within two days a news daily reported Sunday.

Gibbs, who is still under contract to the South African national team, describes sex orgies involving national team players and marijuana-smoking in "To The Point".

He also says the South African national team, which is called the Proteas, are controlled by a small clique, that includes the team captain Graeme Smith.

Gibbs` publisher Marlene Fryer told the Sunday Times that the 15,000 copies that had been printed were sold out within two days of the book being published Monday and she expected it to be similarly successful overseas.

The 36-year-old Gibbs however has been criticised in South Africa and former captain Keppler Wessels believes that any chances Gibbs had of being recalled into the squad had effectively been squashed by the book.

Smith is also said to have sent Gibbs a message in which he voices his disapproval.

Gibbs Friday said that he was disappointed that the media focus had been on the sexual encounters, rather than about his career and his time in alcohol rehab.

Fryer said that she did not know of any other autobiography from an athlete, apart from Andre Agassi`s book Open, in which athletes were so honest about their world.

Controversy has followed Gibbs throughout his career.

He has been fined for smoking marijuana, received a two-match ban for making a racist remark during a game and was also implicated in a match fixing scandal involving then South African captain Hansie Cronjie.

Gibbs admitted that he had been approached by Cronjie to score less than 20 runs in an one-day international, but had then not stuck to his side of the bargain.

"A stint in rehab for alcohol abuse and a messy divorce would be more than enough controversy for most professional athletes, but, with me, that wasn`t the half of it," he writes.

Next week another book on South African cricket that includes some controversial aspects will be published.

In Mickey Arthur`s autobiography entitled "Taking the Mickey", the former South African coach says South African paceman Makhaya Ntini accused him of racism after he dropped him from the side.

Arthur was quoted in South African newspapers as saying that the had lost some respect for Ntini, who last week retired from international cricket. The coach said that Ntini complained to cricket officials that Arthur did not want black players in his team.

The president of Cricket South Africa Mtutuzeli Nyoka is said to have apologised to Ntini and told him he would be in the next series against Australia.

"So that was it. Makhaya would be selected for the one-day squad for Australia, no matter what the coach or the selectors felt was appropriate," Arthur wrote.



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