CRICKET has many inspiring stories, but few would come close to the kind of struggles Shane Watson has faced.
His setbacks are not due to loss of form, paucity of runs, lack of wickets or dropped catches - this is the story of injury and recovery.
- Watto: Shane Watson, by Shane Watson with Jimmy Thomson. Allen & Unwin, rrp $35
Watson is arguably the most valued player in the Australian one-day and Test teams.
He nearly didn't make this level when he was a young man.
His persistent injuries, especially to his back, were likely to truncate a potentially brilliant career. Not so.
A combination of guts, determination and sensitive guidance resulted in Watson being not only a big-hitting, match-winning batsman, but a fine fielder and bowler.
While this is the emphasis of the book, a career that very nearly didn't flower, other influences are also present.
His home life and heroes of his boyhood dreams have a significant influence on his self-belief and sheer preparedness to keep trying.
There are many photographs in the book and these reveal some of the key people in his life, not least his father, his wife, Lee, mentor Victor Popov and the collective mateship of the Australian team.
Watson's career has already exploded with some big scores and huge sixes.
Underneath it all, he's a sensitive man who reaches out to others, not least the flood victims in Queensland.
A fine book for cricket buffs.