NIP tells about Paul-Jan’s youth and how he got to know cricket. The biography describes what made him travel to South Africa and how he became a top sportsman in a country torn apart by apartheid. And how he manifested himself in England, as envoy of a cricket country comparable to Iceland in soccer, between the greatest characters from the history of cricket.
NIP not only discusses the rise and fall of PJ’s cricket career, with, to say the least, a remarkable WC as end station, but for example also working in Switzerland, St Martin as a regular holiday resort and a meeting with the princes of Orange.
The biography of Paul-Jan Bakker reads the one moment as a picaresque novel, and on the other hand as a sports chronicle. NIP describes the life of a sophisticated gentleman, playboy and top sportsman all in one. Never a poseur, always in full conviction, with love for the game.
‘What a fantastic bowler the Nip Bakker turned out to be. Early and late season he nipped the ball around and made the batsman hop around. That’s where the Surrey players like Alec Stewart named him the Nip.’
(Rajesh Maru, former teammate of PJ at Hampshire)
‘Ian Botham was in at four and quickly scored 41 before he launched a mighty slog at PJ and was bowled. To say that we were pleased would be an understatement - PJ showed emotion that we had rarely seen before.’
(Chris Goldie, former teammate of PJ at Hampshire)
‘PJ had established good, relaxed atmosphere, was straightforward and demanded discipline. If things were not good, he didn’t beat about the bush. PJ was the perfect man for this interim job, the last national coach without assistants and analysis experts in his staff. Paul-Jan could do without!’
(Jeroen Smits, captain of the Dutch team when PJ was national coach)