This is a definitive history of the seedy underside of cricket.
From the 18th-century crowd violence to the obsessive will to win of W.G.
Grace; from the bodyline to throwing; from sledging to the match-fixing allegations brought against a host of Test players, culminating in Hansie Cronje's lifetime ban from the game, Simon Rae's work is a revelatory look at a game that was always supposed to be the yardstick of all that was true, honest, pure and of good repute.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 320 pages
- Publisher: Faber & Faber
- Publication Date: 01/06/2002
- Category: History: specific events & topics
- ISBN: 9780571215829
- EPUB from £7.19
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Review by hroethgar
A comprehensive overview of the history and cultutral place of cricket, both in the UK and abroad, specifically with reference to the ideas of sportsmanship that are bandied about; Rae strips off the rose-tinted glasses that insist that the sport enjoyed an undefined era of gentlemanly conduct, replacing them with a far more interesting and complex view of its roots as a workingman's sport and capture by the upper classes. Along the way he demolishes the grievence industry of bodyline and the idea of the sanctity of "walking".