Robert Chesshyre

Tearing Up the Boundary

Cricket at the Crossroads: Class, Colour and Controversy from 1967 to 1977


Elliott & Thompson 278pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

Ilove cricket, played a bit, and have attended matches all my life. However, it was always apparent that the game was administered by Neanderthals in blazers, representing what was worst about the English Establishment: class-ridden, duplicitous, at times racist, Blimpish, inefficient, and above all complacent. In short, its failings were a microcosm of much that was wrong with England beyond the boundary.

Guy Fraser-Sampson (something of a polymath: lawyer, financial adviser, business school lecturer, writer) sees the great game in much the same way. His new book focuses on the decade in which cricket moved, via such earthquakes as the D’Oliveira affair, from Gentlemen (amateurs) and Players (professionals), with administrators who firmly favoured the former, into the era of Kerry Packer, ‘pyjama’ games, and bowling so dangerous that it was a wonder no one was killed.

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