Douglas Jardine: Spartan Cricketer - Christopher DouglasMethuen, 2002, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good+ Dust Wrapper. Pages very gently age-tanned otherwise a very well presented copy.
First in this edition. [First: Allen & Unwin, 1984] Illustrated with black and white photographs. From the cover: “The explosive impact of the 1932-33 MCC tour of Australia sent shockwaves through world cricket with captain Douglas Jardine’s use of intimidating and, some said, unsportsmanlike ‘bodyline’ tactics against Bradman and the all-conquering Australians. Reactions ranged from embarrassment to outrage, and Jardine himself was dogged ever after by his part in the controversy. One of the most successful England captains of all time, he nevertheless became the scapegoat for the bodyline furore, and was ostracised by the English authorities. Contemptuous of his critics, he soon left the Test match arena to pursue relatively unfulfilling careers in business and journalism. He died at an early age in 1958, having never assumed the role of influence within the game for which his abilities so amply equipped him.
History has not been kind to Jardine. Both Australian and English commentators were keen to see him as the villain of the piece, an inflexible, arrogant character whose bad judgement brought the game of cricket and Anglo-Australian relations to near collapse. But the real Douglas Jardine was a much more complex, intelligent and sensitive personality: a man, as John Arlott described him, of ‘cool mind, utter honesty, unflinching courage and unwavering purpose’. Born shortly before the death of Queen Victoria, raised in the atmosphere of the British Raj, he learned his cricket at Winchester and Oxford but played it — at the highest level — as the game was becoming ever more commercial, mass-market entertainment. In this new, revised edition of Douglas Jardine — Spartan Cricketer, Christopher Douglas explores the contradictions in the life of this troubled figure upright idealist and dry humorist, meticulous sportsman and stigmatised wrongdoer — and restores him to his proper place in English cricket history.”