Cricket books

Remove this Banner Ad

Log in to remove this ad.

Adelaide Hawk

Hall of Famer
Sep 21, 2002
49,849
42,208
Adelaide
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Other Teams
Norwood
My Wisden collecting started with a cancelled Croydon Library 1985 HB without a dust jacket that my Nanna sent me one Christmas, she might as well have sent me crack because that one book has cost me a small fortune in time and money since. Still got the book, needless to say it's been replaced by one with a dust jacket now.

The SACA office has a complete set of Wisdens (or at least they did), and I used to spend hours pouring through them in Ray Sutton's office. I promised myself I would accrue a complete set over time, but once Cricinfo got rolling, I've found I don't really need Wisden for much at all, especially at the price. I started collecting the Australian Wisdens from 1998 to 2001-02, but to be honest they just sit on the shelf collecting dust.

To be honest, I've never really forgiven Wisden for the scant respect they showed to World Series Cricket.
 

010203

Norm Smith Medallist
Nov 25, 2017
5,855
3,833
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
I've been reading Ashley Mallett's ''Last Invincible'' book on Neil Harvey which I got for Christmas. It's an interesting read but also a sentimental keep sake as Mallett is no longer with us and as the title suggests, Harvey is the last member of the 1948 team still alive.

There are three things that may or may not be of interest from the 1948 tour.

Don Bradman told his team that he wanted them to go through England unbeaten and thus earn themselves the tag of ''Invincibles''. Bradman though, seemed prepared for his aspirations of an unbeaten tour to go up in smoke. On the last day of the tour match against Surrey, Australia needed 122 to win. That seems easy enough but all bar two of the Australian players went to the Wimbledon final, leaving Neil Harvey and Sam Loxton to hit the winning runs. Loxton and Harvey chased down 122 without being dismissed. Had either of them been dismissed, Surrey would have won via a forfeit.

As we know, Don Bradman ended his career with an average of 99.94 and had he scored 4 runs in Australia's one and only innings at the Oval, he would have ended his career with an average of 100. Neil Harvey hit the winning runs in the famous Headingley win when Australia chased down 404 in 345 minutes. Harvey regretted that because if Bradman hit the winning runs, he would have brought up 7,000 test runs in his 69th test innings and the 'Don' would have finished with an average of 100.

Speaking of Bradman's duck at the Oval, Eric Hollies comments after getting Bradman out for a duck made me smile. Bradman received a standing ovation when he walked out to bat as well as three cheers from the England team. Hollies bowled Bradman 2nd ball, the crowd gave Bradman another standing ovation. While Bradman was being applauded from the field, Hollies disappointingly said to his teammate Jack Crapp: ''Best ******* ball I've bowled all summer and they're clapping him (Bradman)''.
 
Last edited:

big_e

Existential crisis management consultant
Apr 28, 2008
8,412
24,582
Hermit Kingdom of Western Australia
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Wycombe Wanderers
I've been reading Ashley Mallett's ''Last Invincible'' book on Neil Harvey which I got for Christmas. It's an interesting read but also a sentimental keep sake as Mallett is no longer with us and as the title suggests, Harvey is the last member of the 1948 team still alive.

There are three things that may or may not be of interest from the 1948 tour.

Don Bradman told his team that he wanted them to go through England unbeaten and thus earn themselves the tag of ''Invincibles''. Bradman though, seemed prepared for his aspirations of an unbeaten tour to go up in smoke. On the last day of the tour match against Surrey, Australia needed 122 to win. That seems easy enough but all bar two of the Australian players went to the Wimbledon final, leaving Neil Harvey and Sam Loxton to hit the winning runs. Loxton and Harvey chased down 122 without being dismissed. Had either of them been dismissed, Surrey would have won via a forfeit.

As we know, Don Bradman ended his career with an average of 99.94 and had he scored 4 runs in Australia's one and only innings at the Oval, he would have ended his career with an average of 100. Neil Harvey hit the winning runs in the famous Headingley win when Australia chased down 404 in 345 minutes. Harvey regretted that because if Bradman hit the winning runs, he would have brought up 7,000 test runs in his 69th test innings and the 'Don' would have finished with an average of 100.

Speaking of Bradman's duck at the Oval, Eric Hollies comments after getting Bradman out for a duck made me smile. Bradman received a standing ovation when he walked out to bat as well as three cheers from the England team. Hollies bowled Bradman 2nd ball, the crowd gave Bradman another standing ovation. While Bradman was being applauded from the field, Hollies disappointingly said to his teammate Jack Crapp: ''Best ******* ball I've bowled all summer and they're clapping him (Bradman)''.
Bit of mayo on that first story, I reckon.
 

Gough

Moderator
Sep 29, 2006
59,216
106,748
AFL Club
Hawthorn
The SACA office has a complete set of Wisdens (or at least they did), and I used to spend hours pouring through them in Ray Sutton's office. I promised myself I would accrue a complete set over time, but once Cricinfo got rolling, I've found I don't really need Wisden for much at all, especially at the price. I started collecting the Australian Wisdens from 1998 to 2001-02, but to be honest they just sit on the shelf collecting dust.

To be honest, I've never really forgiven Wisden for the scant respect they showed to World Series Cricket.
Wisden is so much more than just the stats, it's Notes from the Editor and the annual prediction of the demise of Test, obits, cricketers of the year, little bit's of miscellany that you can't find anywhere else and there's so much in them that they continue to reward every time you pull one out and find something totally unrelated to what you were originally looking for.
 

Adelaide Hawk

Hall of Famer
Sep 21, 2002
49,849
42,208
Adelaide
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Other Teams
Norwood
Bit of mayo on that first story, I reckon.

Yes, that's the way it was written in the book, but I've heard it told by other sources. The book made it sound as though Harvey and Loxton were the only ones there and the others had gone to the tennis, but apparently the players were still at the game, but the moment the winning runs were scored, they shot through to the Wimbledon final and when Harvey and Loxton returned to the rooms, there was nobody there, so they made their own way to watch Australian John Bromwich lose to American Bob Falkenburg, 5-7 in the 5th set.
 

sherb

Hall of Famer
Sep 28, 2003
32,345
33,968
Western Sydney
AFL Club
Carlton
Other Teams
Swans
To be honest, I've never really forgiven Wisden for the scant respect they showed to World Series Cricket.
Nor Cricket Australia.

They still haven't granted f-c status to the WSC Supertests (nor List A status to the ODI's for that matter).

It's like these matches just don't exist in the records of all the greats who took part.

(Personally, I think the Supertests should be classed as full Test matches, but that's for another discussion).
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Adelaide Hawk

Hall of Famer
Sep 21, 2002
49,849
42,208
Adelaide
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Other Teams
Norwood
Nor Cricket Australia.

They still haven't granted f-c status to the WSC Supertests (nor List A status to the ODI's for that matter).

It's like these matches just don't exist in the records of all the greats who took part.

(Personally, I think the Supertests should be classed as full Test matches, but that's for another discussion).

If you listen to any of the batsmen who took part, they all say it was the toughest cricket they ever played. Ian Chappell once said if you lost form at any time, you had very little chance of recovering as every time you went to the crease you were facing a barrage from the greatest quick bowlers in the world on makeshift pitches. If you read Gideon Haigh's book "The Cricket War", just about every batsman was suffering an injury of some sort, broken jaws, fingers, etc.
 

Bedi

Premiership Player
Mar 8, 2014
4,245
4,642
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Screen Shot 2022-01-02 at 11.42.27 pm.png
 

big_e

Existential crisis management consultant
Apr 28, 2008
8,412
24,582
Hermit Kingdom of Western Australia
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Wycombe Wanderers
Yes, that's the way it was written in the book, but I've heard it told by other sources. The book made it sound as though Harvey and Loxton were the only ones there and the others had gone to the tennis, but apparently the players were still at the game, but the moment the winning runs were scored, they shot through to the Wimbledon final and when Harvey and Loxton returned to the rooms, there was nobody there, so they made their own way to watch Australian John Bromwich lose to American Bob Falkenburg, 5-7 in the 5th set.
Yeah, that sounds more like it.
 

big_e

Existential crisis management consultant
Apr 28, 2008
8,412
24,582
Hermit Kingdom of Western Australia
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Wycombe Wanderers
Nor Cricket Australia.

They still haven't granted f-c status to the WSC Supertests (nor List A status to the ODI's for that matter).

It's like these matches just don't exist in the records of all the greats who took part.

(Personally, I think the Supertests should be classed as full Test matches, but that's for another discussion).
They played those matches knowing they wouldn't be first-class games, let alone tests.

A bit of a dick move by the administrators, but still....

Fwiw, there are plenty of other matches that should also come out of the first-class records - Smokers vs Non-Smokers, the Bs vs England, etc.

Yes, there were great players involved, but they were just exhibition matches.
 

sherb

Hall of Famer
Sep 28, 2003
32,345
33,968
Western Sydney
AFL Club
Carlton
Other Teams
Swans
They played those matches knowing they wouldn't be first-class games, let alone tests.

A bit of a dick move by the administrators, but still....

Fwiw, there are plenty of other matches that should also come out of the first-class records - Smokers vs Non-Smokers, the Bs vs England, etc.

Yes, there were great players involved, but they were just exhibition matches.
They were far more than exhibition matches, see Adelaide Hawk's post above.

In any event, even if they were exhibition matches, that doesn't preclude them from first-class status.

The ACB understandably didn't grant the games f-c status at the time, but it's over 40 years down the track, it's not going to hurt them to do so now.
 

big_e

Existential crisis management consultant
Apr 28, 2008
8,412
24,582
Hermit Kingdom of Western Australia
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Wycombe Wanderers
They were far more than exhibition matches, see Adelaide Hawk's post above.

In any event, even if they were exhibition matches, that doesn't preclude them from first-class status.

The ACB understandably didn't grant the games f-c status at the time, but it's over 40 years down the track, it's not going to hurt them to do so now.
Yeah, it was good tough cricket involving many of the best players in the world.

But they were literally exhibition matches, in the sense they only existed for the purposes of putting content on TV.
 

sherb

Hall of Famer
Sep 28, 2003
32,345
33,968
Western Sydney
AFL Club
Carlton
Other Teams
Swans
Yeah, it was good tough cricket involving many of the best players in the world.

But they were literally exhibition matches, in the sense they only existed for the purposes of putting content on TV.
Again, there is nothing to prevent exhibition matches from being allocated first-class status.

Plenty of exhibition type matches have been allocated f-c status over the years.
 

big_e

Existential crisis management consultant
Apr 28, 2008
8,412
24,582
Hermit Kingdom of Western Australia
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Wycombe Wanderers
Again, there is nothing to prevent exhibition matches from being allocated first-class status.

Plenty of exhibition type matches have been allocated f-c status over the years.
As I said before, it should be the other way - take FC status off the exhibition matches, rather than giving it to more of them.*

Is there any particular criteria other than "they were tough matches"? And should it apply to all games of a certain standard? How do you define that standard? Whose job is it to go through the record books?

Whenever this argument comes up, my honest opinion is that it is because we grew up with it (or at least hearing about it) so it means something to us.

Bottom line, though, is they knew before they played that they would not be first-class games.

*There are legions of (mostly) English cricketers that played pick-up games for money - either to get paid or for the explicit purposes of gambling - who get the privilege of those games inflating wicket and run tallies and averages. There is controversy over whether The Bs vs England should count - I am in the no camp.

I also think it's ridiculous that games involving English universities are still considered FC.
 

Adelaide Hawk

Hall of Famer
Sep 21, 2002
49,849
42,208
Adelaide
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Other Teams
Norwood
They were far more than exhibition matches, see Adelaide Hawk's post above.

In any event, even if they were exhibition matches, that doesn't preclude them from first-class status.

The ACB understandably didn't grant the games f-c status at the time, but it's over 40 years down the track, it's not going to hurt them to do so now.

The silly part is, a mate of mine was with the Cricket Academy, and they played a 3 day game against the English tourists, I think it may have been at the St.Peter's College. This game was awarded First Class status. Incredible when you consider a competition that went for 2 years and comprised the very best cricketers in the world wasn't.
 

The Passenger

Bugman & Programmer Extraordinaire
Mar 25, 2003
33,525
23,686
127.0.0.1
AFL Club
West Coast
Some of the teams that formed minor counties opposition on Ashes tours are certainly very questionable in terms of their first class status.
 

sherb

Hall of Famer
Sep 28, 2003
32,345
33,968
Western Sydney
AFL Club
Carlton
Other Teams
Swans
As I said before, it should be the other way - take FC status off the exhibition matches, rather than giving it to more of them.*

Is there any particular criteria other than "they were tough matches"? And should it apply to all games of a certain standard? How do you define that standard? Whose job is it to go through the record books?

Whenever this argument comes up, my honest opinion is that it is because we grew up with it (or at least hearing about it) so it means something to us.

Bottom line, though, is they knew before they played that they would not be first-class games.

*There are legions of (mostly) English cricketers that played pick-up games for money - either to get paid or for the explicit purposes of gambling - who get the privilege of those games inflating wicket and run tallies and averages. There is controversy over whether The Bs vs England should count - I am in the no camp.

I also think it's ridiculous that games involving English universities are still considered FC.
The standard of the matches doesn't enter into the definition of a first-class cricket match. So you can drop that aspect of your argument.

For me, it's got nothing to do with me "growing up" with WSC. I lived in Tassie at the time, we didn't get the matches on TV and I was avidly following establishment cricket still.

Yes, the players knew at the time that the matches were treated as "rebel" by the ACB, but that's no excuse not to grant them f-c status now. Which CA could easily do, retrospectively.

It would hurt no-one to grant F-C and List A status to the appropriate matches and would fill a gaping hole in many players' career records.
 

Gough

Moderator
Sep 29, 2006
59,216
106,748
AFL Club
Hawthorn
The standard of the matches doesn't enter into the definition of a first-class cricket match. So you can drop that aspect of your argument.

For me, it's got nothing to do with me "growing up" with WSC. I lived in Tassie at the time, we didn't get the matches on TV and I was avidly following establishment cricket still.

Yes, the players knew at the time that the matches were treated as "rebel" by the ACB, but that's no excuse not to grant them f-c status now. Which CA could easily do, retrospectively.

It would hurt no-one to grant F-C and List A status to the appropriate matches and would fill a gaping hole in many players' career records.
If Currie Cup B games from the sixties with teams that were selected from a playing pool less than the population of Tassie at the time can be first class I tend to think WSC can be as well. Some fairly interesting definitions of first class cricketers emerged in the early years of the Logan Cup in Zim as well.
 

Remove this Banner Ad

Remove this Banner Ad