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Thread: Books 2013: Something Uncommon In the Flight

  1. #1
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    Books 2013: Something Uncommon In the Flight

    Thanks to Cricketweb for the "Australian Book of the Year" award, and thanks also to Archie Mac for a generous review. I see that Archie wrote that "Perhaps Max Bonnell, who writes about NSW cricketers, can add another one to his list to keep Mr Haigh happy. I suggest William Murdoch."

    It's a good suggestion and one I have considered carefully. I do think it's time for a proper study of Murdoch, a colossal figure in the early Australian game. I'm not sure, though, that it's a good idea for me to do it, because I've now written on five players (Garrett, Jones, Allen, Pope, Ferris) who played with Murdoch, and my fear is that I will just end up repeating too much of what I have done already.

    There has been one book since "Something Uncommon" (the title is a quote from CB Fry). Roger Page has been brave enough to publish (in January 2014) "Swift Underhand", a study of the life of John Kinloch. Kinloch was the last specialist underam bowler to play for New South Wales - he played in three of the first six intercolonial games with Victoria. His life was interesting, and so is the context - the speed with which Australian cricket was transformed from a ramshackle affair contested by chaotic clubs, into an international sporting phenomenon. Kinloch played a significant part in this - he was the first Secretary of the NSW Criket Association, and played in what should be regarded as the first match between representative teams from Australia and England (there were 22 Australians!). But there's no doubt he is about as obscure as any cricketer who has ever been the subject of a biography. I hope enough people find this idea interesting enough to justify Roger's decision.

    I suppose I do write about NSW cricketers, although I have never thought of it in those terms. It happens, I think, because I now know where to find all the materials needed for original research - and most of those materials are within my reach. I guess Gideon Haigh writes about Victorians (Armstrong, Iverson, Warne), possibly also unconsciously and possibly for similar reasons.

    Anyway, although I thought long and hard about Murdoch, I decided to try someone from a different period. I'm currently looking into the life of Bert Collins, the 1921-26 Test captain. If there's enough there that's interesting and new, then maybe something will come of that.
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  2. #2
    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxbonnell View Post
    Thanks to Cricketweb for the "Australian Book of the Year" award, and thanks also to Archie Mac for a generous review. I see that Archie wrote that "Perhaps Max Bonnell, who writes about NSW cricketers, can add another one to his list to keep Mr Haigh happy. I suggest William Murdoch."

    It's a good suggestion and one I have considered carefully. I do think it's time for a proper study of Murdoch, a colossal figure in the early Australian game. I'm not sure, though, that it's a good idea for me to do it, because I've now written on five players (Garrett, Jones, Allen, Pope, Ferris) who played with Murdoch, and my fear is that I will just end up repeating too much of what I have done already.

    There has been one book since "Something Uncommon" (the title is a quote from CB Fry). Roger Page has been brave enough to publish (in January 2014) "Swift Underhand", a study of the life of John Kinloch. Kinloch was the last specialist underam bowler to play for New South Wales - he played in three of the first six intercolonial games with Victoria. His life was interesting, and so is the context - the speed with which Australian cricket was transformed from a ramshackle affair contested by chaotic clubs, into an international sporting phenomenon. Kinloch played a significant part in this - he was the first Secretary of the NSW Criket Association, and played in what should be regarded as the first match between representative teams from Australia and England (there were 22 Australians!). But there's no doubt he is about as obscure as any cricketer who has ever been the subject of a biography. I hope enough people find this idea interesting enough to justify Roger's decision.

    I suppose I do write about NSW cricketers, although I have never thought of it in those terms. It happens, I think, because I now know where to find all the materials needed for original research - and most of those materials are within my reach. I guess Gideon Haigh writes about Victorians (Armstrong, Iverson, Warne), possibly also unconsciously and possibly for similar reasons.

    Anyway, although I thought long and hard about Murdoch, I decided to try someone from a different period. I'm currently looking into the life of Bert Collins, the 1921-26 Test captain. If there's enough there that's interesting and new, then maybe something will come of that.
    Thanks for going to the trouble of posting on our forum, especially with such a quality post. I must admit I have no knowledge of John Kinloch, but can guarantee at least one sale. Kudos to Roger for backing an obscure cricket personality, he has done a lot for cricket book publishing in Australia.

    A biography on Horseshoe Collins would fill a gap in cricket literature, so let's hope Max finds something of interest on him. I wonder what he makes of Roland Perry's claim that Collins threw the 1926 fifth Test, which saw England win back the Ashes. I hope that fact alone might inspire him to take up the defence of Herbie C.
    You know it makes sense.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archie mac View Post

    A biography on Horseshoe Collins would fill a gap in cricket literature, so let's hope Max finds something of interest on him. I wonder what he makes of Roland Perry's claim that Collins threw the 1926 fifth Test, which saw England win back the Ashes. I hope that fact alone might inspire him to take up the defence of Herbie C.
    Hadn't heard that one, probably because I took your advice and have never read a book by Perry, well not for long anyway

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    And whilst on the subject of New South Welshman Warren Bardsley would be an interesting project


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    Quote Originally Posted by fredfertang View Post
    And whilst on the subject of New South Welshman Warren Bardsley would be an interesting project
    Well, maybe. Bardsley was indisputably a great cricketer, but the qualities that made him a formidable batsman did not necessarily make him an interesting person. He was a non-smoking, non-drinking vegetarian who practised diligently and didn't rock the boat. Of course, you never know what you might find until you start to dig, but I suspect that his life doesn't make a very gripping story.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxbonnell View Post
    Well, maybe. Bardsley was indisputably a great cricketer, but the qualities that made him a formidable batsman did not necessarily make him an interesting person. He was a non-smoking, non-drinking vegetarian who practised diligently and didn't rock the boat. Of course, you never know what you might find until you start to dig, but I suspect that his life doesn't make a very gripping story.
    He was a great uncle of Newk, so that may be a start and I think he lost part of his hearing after being hit by a short ball, thanks to Tibby Cotter

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxbonnell View Post
    Well, maybe. Bardsley was indisputably a great cricketer, but the qualities that made him a formidable batsman did not necessarily make him an interesting person. He was a non-smoking, non-drinking vegetarian who practised diligently and didn't rock the boat. Of course, you never know what you might find until you start to dig, but I suspect that his life doesn't make a very gripping story.
    I understand what you mean, but it depends how well-written it is really - Jack Hobbs for example was not someone who courted controversy



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