Author(s): Bob Cattell
"How would you like to bowl a really fast ball, dead on middle stump? And I mean hurricane fast!" "Yeah!" "Right, come with me!" Tyrone lives and breathes cricket, and he practises all the time, but he's not quite good enough to be picked for the school team - and nowhere near as good as his best friend, Cristiano. That is, until the day he meets Nick, the mysterious stranger who appears at the nets. Suddenly, as if by magic, Tyrone is not only the fastest bowler in the school, but he's picked for the county, too. All he has to do is follow Nick's instructions - 18 paces exactly, and say, "Here's one for old Nick!" - and he can bowl a deadly, unbeatable ball. But there's a price to pay for Tyrone's new-found talent. It starts with just pocket money, but the demands get greater as the stakes get higher. Tyrone finds himself lying to his best friend and his mum, and being less than truthful with himself. On the day of the big county final, when Tyrone is up to bowl against Cristiano, Nick's advice is not only dishonest but dangerous - and the price this time is to steal GBP200 from his mum. Can Tyrone say no to Nick or will this sinister visitor now have Tyrone under his power for ever?
Bob Cattell has been a cricket fan all his life and a supporter of the England team through thick and thin. He also supports Yorkshire, especially for their fast bowlers from Fred Trueman to Tim Bresnan. He is the author of the bestselling Glory Gardens series about cricket, highly recommended by TestMatch Special, and the Strikers series about football, written with David Ross. He also wrote the Butter-Finger cricket books for Frances Lincoln, with John Agard: Butter-Finger, Shine on, Butter-Finger and Big City Butter Finger ("hugely entertaining" - Carousel). Bob describes his own criciketing abilities as 'a left-arm sprin bowler who surprises batters with the lack of spin'. He lives in Suffolk.