Caught England Bowled Australia
Author: David Frith
Publisher: Eva Press
Rating: 4 Stars
By Archie Mac
09 Aug 2010
As with all publications written by David Frith this one is impeccably researched. The book is estimated to run to approximately 200,000 words and does not appear to contain a single typo or factual error.
The book commences with Frith's sacking as editor of Wisden Cricket Monthly (WCM) in 1996. The publication he had founded in 1979. This autobiography, published just 12 months after his sacking, still finds Frith hurt and seemingly almost not believing. The author, not for the first time in the book sees treachery and evil plots at every turn.
Mr Frith's list of betrayals is a common thread running throughout the book, he states early his need for 100% loyalty, and if some of his severing of relationships seems capricious, his own loyalty to the game of cricket is never in question.
The game of cricket seems to have taken hold of David Frith at an early age, and his love and passion for the game shines through in his autobiography. His frustration at not being able to secure employment as a fulltime cricket correspondent in Australia, never appears to have stopped his determination, as demonstrated by him packing up his young family and returning to the place of his birth; England.
Although David Frith was born and spent his early childhood in England, he spent a large amount of his youth in Australia, hence the name of his autobiography. Early in his time in Australia he is clearly still supporting the English cricket team, however sometime during his second term in England he becomes one of those rare anglophiles who support both England and Australia. Another great cricket writer with a similar duel upbringing, although over a vastly different time period, Gideon Haigh is an unabashed England supporter.
David Frith may be described as a hoarder, he has diaries from his father, and appears to have kept a personal diary his whole life. This makes for the most comprehensive autobiography you will read, although the wealth of information sometimes results in maybe a little too much detail. The book becomes much more interesting to the cricket fan in the second half as Frith starts to associate with almost every present and past cricketer still living, his friendship and observations of Sir Donald Bradman being especially interesting.
With so much contact with the greats of the game, Frith has managed to build up one of the most magnificent cricket collections. He mentions collectable items periodically during the book. The one that would most make the cricket book collector's mouth water, would be his copy of Arthur Mailey's 10 for 66 and all that, which contain the original hand drawings of Arthur Mailey.
David Frith has written some of the very best cricket books written; Pageant of Cricket, By His Own Hand, Bodyline Autopsy and his ground breaking biography of Andrew Stoddart. Caught England bowled Australia is another fine read, and hopefully Mr Frith will one day update his autobiography.