My Grandfather Was A Test CricketerMartin Chandler |
Author: Anderson, Nathan
Publisher: The Cricket Press Pty Ltd
Rating: 4 stars
The Test cricketer in question is Brian Booth, a batsman capped 29 times in the early 1960s and who ended his career with the more than creditable average of 42.21. Currently 88 years of age Booth is the subject of this delightful monograph from his 24 year old grandson, Nathan Anderson, a final year student who, as co-author with his publisher Ronald Cardwell, we have met before here.
As is only to be expected Anderson’s feelings towards his grandfather are a mixture of love, awe and respect and Booth, an all-round sportsman who also represented his country on the hockey field, is portrayed accordingly. That much said as everything else I have ever read about Booth is unfailingly positive in its assessment of a man with strong christian values, there can be no criticism of Anderson for writing of his grandfather with the affection that he does. Perhaps the best evidence of Booth’s popularity and integrity comes from the story that Anderson tells that Booth, after losing his Test place, became the only man ever to receive a personal letter from Sir Donald Bradman expressing his regret at making that decision.
An essay of the length of this one can never do more than scratch the surface of its subject’s career nor, generally, can it give more than a glimpse of his character. Anderson however, no doubt because of the amount of time he has spent with Booth, and the role model that his grandfather has been to him, succeeds in leaving his reader with the impression that he knows exactly what sort of man Brian Booth is.
According to the blurb on the flap of the rear endpaper Anderson is studying education and arts thus, I presume, with a view to following his grandfather into the teaching profession. I sincerely hope that part of the rationale for that is that he also has a mind to continue with his writing which, on the strength of his efforts so far, he has a great talent for. If I am right on that one it may well be that Anderson’s own grandchildren will be able to read this essay in a post retirement anthology of their grandfather’s work, but for those of us in the here and now there are only fifty copies available, so the chance to read My Grandfather Was A Test Cricketer is going to be denied to anyone who is not quick off the mark.