Australian cricket December 14, 2013

The devious side of Sid Barnes

Daniel Lane of Sydney Morning Herald pays tribute to Sid Barnes on the 40th anniversary of his death, and recounts how the legendary figure of Bradman's 1948 Invincibles was a character full of tricks and shenanigans. Some of his transgressions include parking his car in a VIP area, allowing children on the field of play, and for offending the Royal Family.

Barnes was considered more prankster than gangster. He took action against a reader, Jacob Raith, who wrote to a newspaper the board was correct not to have selected Barnes because of his character. Barnes took the author to court but his battle wasn't with Raith - Barnes' lawyer made it clear to the judge his client didn't want financial gain - it was with the board, and thanks to the letter, its officials were forced to stand in the dock and explain why Barnes wasn't picked. When it was publicly acknowledged that pettiness, gossip and rumour had formed their judgment of Barnes, the cricketer claimed vindication.