1979

A watershed, but one missed by most readers, as publication was passed to MacDonald & Jane's. The Packer affair rumbled on, although the hostility at the threat to the establishment of the previous edition had given way to a resigned acceptance. The promise of youngsters such as David Gower (one of the Five Cricketers) and Ian Botham ("possibly our greatest find since Walter Hammond 50 years ago") struck an optimistic note as England won series against Pakistan and New Zealand, and then destroyed a Packer-decimated Australian side 5-1 in the winter. Kent won the Championship and the Gillette Cup, although cynics noted that it was because their Packer-aligned players such as Derek Underwood, Bob Woolmer and Asif Iqbal were available all summer. The editor bemoaned the emergence of the "ugly" helmet - cost £29 - but admitted that criticism had to be tempered with common sense and the need to protect players.
Editor Norman Preston
Pages 1154
Price £4.25 (soft) / (cloth)