Bodyline Autopsy: The Full Story of the Most Sensational


Bodyline Autopsy: The Full Story of the Most Sensational Test Cricket Series - Australia V England 1932-33 In 1932, England s cricket team, led by the haughty Douglas Jardine, had the fastest bowler in the world Harold Larwood Australia boasted the most prolific batsman the game had ever seen the young Don Bradman He had to be stopped The leg side bouncer onslaught inflicted by Larwood and Bill Voce, with a ring of fieldsmen waiting for catches, caused an outrage that reverberated to the back of the stands and into the highest levels of government Bodyline, as this infamous technique came to be known, was repugnant to the majority of cricket lovers It was also potentially lethal one bowl fracturing the skull of Australian wicketkeeper Bert Oldfield and the technique was outlawed in 1934 After the death of Don Bradman in 2001, one of the most controversial events in cricketing history the Bodyline technique finally slid out of living memory Over seventy years on, the 1932 33 Ashes series remains the most notorious in the history of Test cricket between Australia and England David Frith s gripping narrative has been acclaimed as the definitive book on the whole saga superbly researched and replete with anecdotes, Bodyline Autopsy is a masterly anatomy of one of the most remarkable sporting scandals. This was the first of the bodyline books that I read, and what a good read it was David Frith was probably the leading authority on the subject material at the time However, the book is very clearly just one side of the coin Good as the book is, the anti Jardine bias is apparent at a very early stage and this alone restricts the book in its conclusions in many key areas.David Frith s research was obviously considerable, but many conclusions were drawn on hearsay, rumours and off the record remarks Much credence has been given to the testimony of Gubby Allen, a man of double standards, whose memory was selective at best and in than one case totally wrong.One feels very let down in the way that the famous dressing room leak was handled Frith has documentary evidence to who the culprit was Even without this, the finger of suspicion was pointed very clearly in Bradman direction Jack Fingleton names him in his book and Bill Woodfull Jnr says as much in an interview The relations of the reporter who covered the story, stated that Bradman was the culprit.The reluctance to say anything bad about Bradman and anything good about Jardine, does sent the tone of the book More recent publications, especially Bodyline Hypocrisy, prove conclusively that this was very far from being so.For those interested in the subject material, this book is the perfect place to start, but for a much wider perspective this book must be supplemented by Bodyline Hypocrisy and Jardine, Spartan Cricketer. Every cricket fan will know about the 1932 33 MCC tour to Australia so let s not go into that too much and talk about the book itself Frith draws upon interviews with the participants, letters, notes and all other assorted documents on the tour and its characters Whilst a very well researched and noble piece of writing, I was a bit disappointed.The events of the tour itself covers only about a third of the book I felt the last 100 pages could easily have been left out, did we really need a whole chapter on how the MCC team made its way back home at the end of the series not to mention what they did when they got back too The book s not so much about the tour, as about the lead up and the fallout of it even going into cricket postwar, and do we really need page after page of telling us what happened to everyone later on in life too.The Test matches themselves are described in full, albeit little than cut and paste newspaper clippings of the day s events OK if you re a cricketing anorak but I still felt the book itself just scratched the surface of the whole affair obviously the people involved couldn t be interviewed and not surprisingly the diplomatic notes of the affair are no longer avaliable, so there are innumerable letters, notes and recalled conversations Still, it would make a good present for a cricket fan. After watching the Bodyline series then reading this I was astounded to learn that the tv drama was really over played about the Austrailian players outrage and felt the tv series was a love in to Bradman great batsman all I can say is these are the real facts plain and simple, Yes the leg theory at that time was controversial but was being used in other forms of cricket before the bodyline series and still continues to the present day and i like the way through the book I learned the real fact behind this notorious series were not as outrages as the tv drama

  • Hardcover
  • Bodyline Autopsy: The Full Story of the Most Sensational Test Cricket Series - Australia V England 1932-33
  • David Frith
  • 16 November 2019
  • 1854109316

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