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From working the land in Narromine to winning cricket's World Cup three times, Glenn McGrath has always faced life with fierce determination and an unerring will to succeed, despite the odds

From working the land in Narromine to winning cricket's World Cup three times, Glenn McGrath has always faced life with fierce determination and an unerring will to succeed, despite the odds.

Following his retirement from international cricket, McGrath shares the story of his life - in cricket and off the field. Known as 'Pigeon', he won his baggy green cap in Perth in 1993 and went on to forge a brilliant career, retiring as cricket's most successful fast bowler with 563 Test wickets. McGrath entered Ashes folklore in 1997 when he destroyed England by taking 8 for 38 at Lord's, and he even scored a Test half-century with the bat. With leg spinner Shane Warne, he formed the most devastating bowling combination in Test history.

Glenn McGrath's most meaningful achievements, however, have been off the field. With his wife Jane, who battled breast and bone cancers, he established the McGrath Foundation, a major fundraiser for and supporter of people with breast cancer. In the book, in their own words, the McGraths discussed their ongoing battles with the disease. Line and Strength is the tell-all story of an Australian country boy who took on the world.

After battling cancer for 11 years, Jane died on 22 June 2008. Glenn is now the Chairman of the McGrath Foundation and continues to fundraise tirelessly to place breastcare nurses in hospitals.


If former fast bowler Glenn McGrath is not the decent man he appears in this superior version of the standard sports-star 'my life' he does a damn good job of disguising it. Inevitably, this book will primarily appeal to cricket tragics. But while you have to love - really love - the game to appreciate all the anecdotes, there are worse ways for anybody who ever admired McGrath's bowling to spend a few hours than reading about his life. It was obviously completed before his wife Jane's wretchedly sad death, and McGrath emerges as a bloke who knows how to shoulder a burden.

Stephen Matchett, The Australian

Line and Strength is recommended as a most enjoyable read. There is no over-the-top adulation or wallowing in self-pity. Lane is to be commended on his portrayal of the wonderful career of a great cricketer and the life of a proud husband, father and very decent person.

Peter Crossing, The Canberra Times

In any era, in any team Glenn McGrath is - in my view - one of life's true champions.

Dennis Lillee

Glenn would never give up - he was never beaten.

Shane Warne

His is a great story . . . his club side in the outback didn't rate him, but through perseverance and self-belief he played for Australia and became one of the great bowlers.

Steve Waugh

I was so proud and privileged to have been a member of the Australian cricket team, but receiving the Order of Australia medal topped everything because of what it signified. Jane and I are really proud of the McGrath Foundation and of the good it is achieving. I think all the good things the Foundation represents - helping people, offering hope and support - mirror all the beautiful things I see in Jane.

Glenn McGrath

Former England captain Mike Atherton's 2002 autobiography Opening Up was arguable the best cricket cricket book published in recent years. That is no longer the case. Glenn McGrath's Line and Strength takes cricket writing to another level . . . this is a book that transcends a cricket readership. the reason is that his cricket life is inseparable from his family life . . . This is an important book for a range of reasons. Yes, it covers the super decade of Australian cricket from the inside and it is a story of the Aussie dream of a country kid who gets to wear the baggy green. But it is fundamentally a reminder that sport is only a game and life is a bigger contest.

Christopher Bantick, The Hobart Mercury

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    July 1, 2010

    William Heinemann Australia

    448 pages

    RRP $19.99

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  • EBook


    May 1, 2010

    Random House Australia

    427 pages

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