Australian Red RosesMartin Chandler |
Author: Tebay, Martin
Publisher: Red Rose Books
Rating: 3.5 stars
There is a list on page 10 of Australian Red Roses of all of the century ninth wicket partnerships that have been put together for Lancashire. There are 21 of them altogether, almost half in the last thirty years. The first occasion the feat was achieved was in 1871, but none of the partnerships have exceeded the 142 that Les Poidevin and Alec Kermode added against Sussex at Eastbourne in 1907. The stand between the two Australians took Lancashire from a somewhat precarious 262-8 to 404 all out and, eventually, an honourable draw.
It is against that background that Martin Tebay writes this, the fifth in his series of booklets on Red Rose Cricket Records. He begins with a pair of contemporary photographs the Australian duo before penning an introduction that contains some brief biographical details of the two New South Welshmen. There the similarities largely end however as, important in the context of the times, Poidevin was an amateur and Kermode a professional.
The main point of the booklet, naturally, is to reconstruct the Lancashire innings and more particularly the historic partnership and Tebay has consulted a number of contemporary sources in order to do so. Those include local newspapers in Lancashire and Sussex as well as The Daily Mail and, the games only specialist journal at that time, Cricket: A Weekly Record of the Game.
Unlike previous booklets in this series the narrative does deal with more with the match with which it is concerned in the round than simply the achievement which it commemorates and that is perhaps a welcome development given that it assists with placing the record in its proper context.
All in all Tebay has once again succeeded in producing a stirring account of a notable event in Lancashire cricket history. It will inevitably appeal primarily to Lancastrians rather than neutrals and that is no doubt why, once again, the booklet appears in an edition limited to 30 copies which, if the previous four booklets are anything to go by, will sell very quickly. The cost of Australian Red Roses is, like its predecessors, a modest £6.99 including UK postage and it can be ordered through the publishers website.