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Cricket's Second Golden Age — The Hammond-Bradman Years - Gerald Howat

Hodder & Stoughton, 1989, Hardback in Dustwrapper..
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Pages lightly age-tanned otherwise a very well presented copy.

Illustrated with black and white photographs. From the cover: “Was there ever a Golden Age of cricket? The answer usually given is 1895 to 1914; but the inter-war years of 1919 to 1939 are another great period for cricket, and a formative one too. What is true, however, is that both periods were indisputably Golden Ages of batting. Just as the 1926-27 season saw the record one-innings score of 1107 — by Victoria against New South Wales — so this period was dominated by two of the greatest of modern batsmen, W. R. Hammond (debut 1920) and D. G. Bradman (debut 1927-28). As Gerald Howat puts it, ‘From 1928-29 onwards, until Hammond’s retirement in 1947, their respective performances went a long way to determine the outcome of each series between their countries’. While The Fight for the Ashes’ formed the climax of cricket in the 1920s and 1930s, the main focus of the game in England, and of cricket-lovers, lay in the county championship (usually won by Yorkshire). Two things made this possible. At first, there were only two other Test-playing countries — Australia and South Africa — who normally visited England every four years or so. Second, Test matches were scheduled for three days only, the same as a county game. This changed under pressure from Australia and with Test-match status being granted to the West Indies in 1928, New Zealand in 1929, and India in 1932. Gerald Howat’s book vividly recalls and relives these years in England, Australia (including the Sheffield Shield) and each of the major cricketing countries. The period may have been tarnished by the events of the ‘bodyline’ tour of 1932-33, and by the perpetual struggle of many counties, and professional cricketers, to make ends meet; there was a reliance too on ‘timeless’ tests, finally discredited in South Africa in 1939. As the author writes, however, ‘Throughout these years there was always the batting of Hammond or Bradman to watch; the elderly Hobbs centre upstage; Headley making his entrances; Hutton playing the juvenile lead. There were bowlers such as Mailey, Grimmett, Larwood, Tate and Constantine, and wicket-keepers like Oldfield, Cameron and Ames.’ A Golden Age indeed! And fascinatingly revealed by an author who is always conscious of the issues in the game and of the background of life outside it.”
Size: 8¾" x 5¾"
Number of Pages: 300
ISBN: 0340423455

£11.90 (Now Sold)