The Pakistan Tour to the UK 1978Martin Chandler |
Author: Battersby, David
Publisher: Battersby, David
Rating: 3 stars
Having written a full length book on the subject of England’s visit to Pakistan a few month’s before this tour took place the only thing that surprised me about this little booklet from David Battersby is that it has not appeared until now. A great enthusiast for Anglo-Pakistan cricket he is clearly looking to fill the gap between Qamaruddin Butt and Kim Baloch, so there are a couple of instalments due yet.
Was the 1978 tour an interesting one? As with the majority of series played of fewer than five Tests the answer is not sufficiently to justify a detailed account, but like any series that involving the 1978 Pakistanis, whilst it might not have matched the drama of, for example, the following summer when an inspired Sunny Gavaskar almost carried India to a record breaking fourth innings chase, it certainly had its moments. There were a couple of innings victories for England, a nasty injury inflicted by a Bob Willis bouncer on Iqbal Qasim as well as some of the dodgiest moustaches seen on a cricket ground since the days of the ‘Golden Age’.
Sadly there is no space in a dozen pages for any in depth interviews or reflections from those involved, but there are short summaries of the tour matches and slightly more detailed accounts of the three Tests. It is the sort of thing that could easily be plagiarised from the pages of Wisden, but thankfully hasn’t been and, as with all his writing, the author’s enthusiasm for his subject shines through.
In addition to the narrative there are some interesting images of tour memorabilia and a couple of cartoons mocking the appalling weather that afflicted the tour, particularly in its early weeks. In terms of availability there are sixty signed and numbered copies for sale at £4 including postage to UK addresses. Based on previous enquiries we have received quite a few of those are likely to find their way to Pakistan, so it would probably be prudent to, as the saying goes, buy early for Christmas.