October 9, 2011


A gripping decade in cricket

Siddhartha Talya

Tony Gould reviews Cricket at the Crossroads by Guy Fraser-Sampson in the Observer - a book about the ten years from 1967-1977, a time of political turmoil and bitter rivalry that made it a gripping decade for cricket.

The period goes from the captaincy controversy surrounding Brian Close, through the South Africa apartheid saga and the introduction of one-day internationals, up to the players' revolt over pay, which – combined with the media war between Kerry Packer and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation – led to the defection of almost all the international stars to Packer's World Series Cricket. Fraser-Sampson has interviewed several survivors from that era; he also uses the memoirs of John Snow and Derek Underwood, as well as Colin Cowdrey and Raymond Illingworth, to good effect. Though far from impartial, he tries to present the motives of those of whom he is most critical in the best light.

Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Keywords: Cricket books

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