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World Series Cricket Quote ... Unquote

'The devil take the hindmost'

Martin Williamson

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Kerry Packer: 'I told every player, 'This is a tough contract and you'll do as you're damn well told'' © Getty Images
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"It's the easiest sport in the world to take over. Nobody bothered to pay the players what they were worth."
Kerry Packer announcing the signing of leading cricketers in May 1977

"The only redeeming factor is that I have sacrificed cricket's most coveted job for a cause which I believe could be in the best interests of cricket the world over."
Tony Greig on being sacked as England captain two days after the news of World Series Cricket broke

"What are you, a f****** cowboy? Well, who do you want in this team of yours?"
The first words spoken by Packer to Ian Chappell, who had arrived to a meeting wearing jeans and a country-and-western shirt

"What do you think this is, son, a f****** democracy? You're the f****** captain."
Packer, again to Chappell, who had pointed out that he was no longer the Australian captain

"I will take no steps at all to help anyone. It's every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost."
Packer after the ICC rejected a request to allow his Channel Nine network to have access to cricket coverage

"They talk about not being able to pay the cricketers enough. They could have had my money to do it."
Packer responds to claims from the Australian board that it could not afford to pay players more

"I make no apologies for the fact that the contract is tough. I told every player, 'This is a tough contract and you'll do as you're damn well told'."
Packer responds to claims that the contracts entered into by WSC players are draconian

"The only way a player can get out of this contract is if he gets pregnant."
Comment attributed to a senior WSC manager

"Plainly dictatorial, penal, and an infringement of the liberty of the individual."
Andrew Morritt, QC in his summing up for Packer during the trial brought against the authorities for their stance against those who had signed for WSC

"A professional cricketer needs to make his living as much as any other professional man."
Lord Justice Slade finds in favour of World Series Cricket. The ICC and English board face a bill of more than £250,000

"Australian cricketers are tired of being branded as slobs. From now on there are certain bounds on dress, language, and slinging off at opponents while they are batting."
New Australian captain Bobby Simpson, recalled at 41 after ten years in retirement, takes a swipe at those who have signed for Packer

"Winning is the thing in cricket and it makes no difference whether you wear jeans and T-shirts off the field to be comfortable."
Ian Chappell responds to Simpson's comments

"They can bargain from a position of strength; they can cut down the bloodshed; they can cleanse the air. For the good of cricket something must be tried in the near future. It may mean a lot of dismounting from high horses."
Journalist John Woodcock argues that the problems encountered by WSC in the first season means that a settlement is possible if the Australian board is willing

"Sounds fantastic. Fantastic bullshit. It'll never work."
A Perth builder when asked about the idea of drop-in pitches

"After a week the little feller was like a tadpole."
Max Walker on Mushtaq Mohammed, who took to the free food available to WSC players with great gusto

"It would be easier to get an audience with the Pope, and I'm not catholic."
Packer when asked if he any meetings planned with the ACB

"How the f*** could you get back into form when you were playing Roberts, Holding, Garner day after day."
Ian Chappell on the problems of struggling for your touch while playing WSC cricket

Martin Williamson is executive editor of Cricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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Martin Williamson Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.
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