by David Nash

Published by Pitch Publishing
A2 Yeoman Gate, Yeoman Way,
Worthing, Sussex BN13 3QZ


Pages: 224

MRP: £19.99


David Nash was a talented wicket-keeper/batsman for Middlesex who might have been recognised internationally but who was ultimately destined to become a long-serving stalwart for his county only. Both his batting and wicket-keeping statistics show him to have been a very able and competent cricketer but one who sadly suffered mental health issues during his cricketing career.

Bails and Boardrooms is a book more about his current entrepreneurial business than his cricket career but one which shows the valuable lessons which he learnt from his time as a cricketer. I can happily say that, when I found that the book was more about business, my heart sank. Maybe I am older, worked for longer and am long in the tooth, but as one who struggled in understanding (and indeed had a great disdain for) - what do they call them? - the latest buzzwords and doubtless impressive business parlance employees are often subjected to, I somewhat expected Bails and Boardrooms to revive old and unwanted memories. Indeed, one of the best quips I remember way back in the 1990s - when the author was behind the stumps at Lord's rather than in his boardroom in Shepperton - was an unamused employee asking the manager to "speak in English".

I am delighted to say, though, that the book instantly grabbed me and I thoroughly enjoyed every page of it. Nashy, as he is popularly and universally known, charts how his experiences in cricket helped forge his career as a businessman and entrepreneur. There were difficult moments during his cricket career which he has learnt from and, in his engaging way, has made a grand success in launching his company, D & G, with his brother Glen (who is the G in the company name).

Nashy's writing style is warm and easy and he speaks highly of some cricketing leaders as not just cricketers but humans. Sir Andrew Strauss, who contributed the foreword, is one such. Others whose example was not as well-considered, are mentioned and the book comes over honestly and frankly and with good and decent observations and advice. Nashy and Glen have undoubtedly put good practice into D & G which has raised £20 million for charities. It is interesting reading how D & G came into existence and the business models - sorry, I am still somewhat guessing at what the word model means but get the gist, I think! - used. They have used some of the good and great of the business world to work with the company and have applied common sense and acumen to make it a success. It is a nice story to read. I did not feel that Nashy's views were being foisted upon the reader but there is much that can be learnt from his easy-going manner and experiences mentioned.

Bails and Boardrooms is written confidently and with humour and, whilst I will probably always remain long in the tooth, Nashy's advice and style struck a chord and, after that heart-sinking moment mentioned earlier in this review, I am also very happy to add that I was sad to reach the end of the book. Well done, Nashy!