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Book Review
Break o 'Day
Published: 2008
Pages: 166
Author: Michael Gandy
Publisher: ACS Tasmania
Rating: 3.5 stars
By Archie Mac
26 Mar 2008
Break o

This anthology is a celebration of 20 years of the Tasmanian Cricket Society, the title Break o 'Day is the name of the societies monthly newsletter to members and is also the name of the club that Charles Eady famously scored 566 in a single innings. It is not often mentioned that Eady took part in another match after the completion of the third day in this match with his score being an imposing 419*, and a month later the match resumed and Eady went on to his historic score (this is all contained in the book).

Australian cricket societies have been established in a number of Australian capital cities, but unfortunately a number are now dormant. The Tasmanian branch is one of the most successful having cleverly aligned themselves with both the Tasmanian Cricket Association and Bellerive Oval and museum.

I was quite amazed to learn of the amount of work the Tasmanian ACS performs for Tasmanian cricket; from organizing and donating a painting to the Bellerive Oval, to undertaking restoration of graves of former Tasmanian first class cricketers at Cornelian Bay Cemetery in Hobart. These include Thomas Kendall, Charles Eady, Ken Burn, George Bailey and the great golden age captain Joe Darling.

The book itself is broken up into five sections: Cricket Talk, Annual Dinner Speakers, Members' Meetings Speakers, I was There and Tasmanian Cricket Heritage.

As is typical with anthologies Break o 'Day can be a little hit or miss in parts, some of the Speakers transcripts unfortunately fall a little flat, much like reading the written 'set' of a stand up comedian, it is hard to capture the tone of the speaker or the reaction of the crowd. Rather surprisingly some of the Annual Dinner Speaker transcripts are from the ACS annual dinners in Adelaide.

While reading some of the names that ACS have been able to attract, I must admit to feeling a little jealous and disappointed that I had not had the chance to listen to these greats of the game; Bill O'Reilly, Greg Chappell, Allan Border, and a number of other notable cricket legends.

The I Was There section, which are impressions from ACS members on international cricket matches and tours they have attended, was very interesting so much so, that I am tempted to subscribe to the Break o 'Day newsletter.

The final section on Tasmanian Cricket Heritage is also quality writing and is of great interest, especially the writings on forgotten Tasmanian first class cricketers, a number of which most cricket tragics - although maybe I should no longer use the term 'Cricket Tragic' as in the book Gideon Haigh mentions he is not enamored with the term - will be unfamiliar with.

The book itself is a little deceptive; 166 pages does not sound like a lot but the book size is A4 and the font is approximately 8 point. The editor Mike Gandy and all those involved in the books production should be heartily congratulated, as there is hardly a typo to be found throughout.

At a limited edition of just 150, this may prove a hard book to find, anyone who would like to purchase a copy please contact Cricket Web and we will put you in contact with the publishers, the serious cricket book enthusiast will not be disappointed.

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