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Then Came Massacre: The Story of Maurice Tate, Cricket's Smiling Destroyer

Then Came Massacre: The Story of Maurice Tate, Cricket's Smiling Destroyer [Kindle Edition]

Justin Parkinson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Product Description


**Winner of the Cricket Web Best New Writer Award 2013**

"Superb...It is hard to think of a more unjustly neglected England great. Parkinson redresses the balance with gusto." Wisden Cricketers' Almanack

"An excellent first cricket book by Justin Parkinson. Let's hope there is a follow-up."

"Beautifully researched, well laid-out and engagingly written. Once again, Pitch Publishing have come up with a worthy, eminently readable book that deserves to do well." --Steve Dolman, Peakfan Blog

"Excellent. For a modern take on a criminally under told story Parkinson's book is a must read."

"An inspiring story of how he [Tate] dealt with criticism and praise, which recognises his great talents as cricketer and human being."-- Cricket Memorabilia Society Magazine

"Tate's figures speak for themselves, but figures cannot explain, as Parkinson does with words, what a joy he was to watch. Parkinson has a passion for cricket. This is his first book and more on Sussex stars would be welcome." --Sussex Life

"This is a good book from a new author and should be supported." --Association of Cricket Statisticians

Product Description

Sussex and England superstar Maurice Tate's story is one of triumph and fame, controversy and tragedy. In the 1920s and 1930s, the all-rounder was the world's most popular cricketer, famed for his brilliant bowling and broad smile – unlike his infamous cricketing father, whose costly error he more than repaid. In his day, Tate's enormous feet were the subject of a music-hall song, his extra pace considered 'magical'; he’s now recognised as the first proper 'seam' bowler. He took almost 2,800 first-class wickets and thrilled crowds with rapid-fire sixes and centuries. But along the way he suffered a nervous breakdown at the Bodyline series, and threw beer over Douglas Jardine. After a bitter sacking by Sussex, he became a pub landlord and died in poverty. Recently voted Sussex's greatest ever player, Tate doesn't figure in any more widespread Hall of Fame. It's time to remember this forgotten great of England cricket.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5567 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Pitch Publishing (Brighton) Ltd (1 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #273,940 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be put off by the title 4 Nov 2013
I won't repeat what previous reviewers have said - they've done a good job in summarising the book and Tate's career. But when the book arrived my wife said, "What an odd title for a cricket book!" Without the cover photographs you might indeed think it was about something like the Battle of Little Bighorn.

Immediately, I was taken aback by reference to the "infamous" Fred Tate. To me, and the dictionary, that word has meanings such as nasty or criminal. Thousands of cricketers have dropped a catch and/or been dismissed for next to nothing in a Test but poor, unfortunate Fred seems to be unique in suffering for it for the rest of his life and beyond.

After that, though, the book is a splendid biography. Parkinson has covered all the areas that one would expect and provided a lot of new information about a complex character - one who couldn't see that his time was up and that Sussex could hardly be expected to continue with a 40-year-old quick bowler who was clearly in decline.

I wasn't looking for errors but there is a glaring one about Jack Timms of Northamptonshire; he is said to have had a career average of 45 but in fact it was only 25.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful read on a great player 1 Sep 2013
By Peakfan
Format:Kindle Edition
Cricketing sons rarely live up to the reputation of their fathers. There are dozens of examples over the years and the struggles of such players have been well enough documented in cricket literature.

Few have matched the feats of Maurice Tate. His father, Fred, was a journeyman professional who took over 1300 wickets for Sussex at 21 with right arm spin perhaps at the pace of Derek Underwood. He is unfairly remembered by most for his role in the 1902 Test at Old Trafford against Australia, when, after dropping a catch in the deep, he was bowled with only four runs needed for victory.

It doesn't tell the full story, as Tate was in unfamiliar territory and more often fielded at slip, while expectation of number eleven, a batsman of modest achievement, bailing you out when a much-vaunted batting lineup had failed was patently unfair. Such was Tate senior's lot, but his son, as he predicted after the match, did him proud. While Fred subsequently became county coach of Derbyshire for a period, Maurice did considerably better.

From 1922-25, Maurice Tate was perhaps the greatest player in the world. If he wasn't, there were few better, as he took 852 wickets in three calendar years, including an Australian tour. He added a thousand runs a summer and took at least 200 wickets in each of them, bowling 38,000 balls in that time. All this after switching from bowling spin at his father's pace to fast-medium at the suggestion of his county captain.

The workload was colossal, even for a man of Tate's strapping build and probably cost him some of his long-term effectiveness. Yet his bowling was a model of getting the most from a run up and action.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An affectionate take on an under told story 31 Aug 2013
Maurice Tate is one of the great players. He made his Test debut in the same Test as Herbert Sutcliffe. He was the first man to dismiss Donald Bradman in Test cricket. He claimed 2784 first class wickets at an average of 18 and scored over 20,000 first class runs. In the mid 1920s he was universally considered to be the best bowler in England claiming over 200 first class wickets two seasons in succession. He claimed 155 Test wickets and scored a Test match hundred. Despite this record of success he is almost unheard of by most cricket fans. A new book by Justin Parkinson hopes to put that right.

"Then Came Massacre" is an affectionate portrait of Tate by a Sussex fan and we get an insight into Maurice Tate the person as well as the bowler. Tate made his first class debut at the age of 17 for Sussex but that is not where the cricketing story begins for the Tate family. Maurice's father Fred was a professional cricketer who become infamous in his only Test where he dropped a catch and was the last man out in a close run chase. Many blamed Fred for the loss of that game in 1902, most notably himself. It is suggested at the time that he said his boy would put things right, and Maurice certainly did.

As with any great cricketers biography it is all too easy to fall into an exercise of just listing numbers of wickets and runs scored, and Parkinson is careful not to enter this trap. While there is plenty of facts and figures to keep the cricket nerd happy these are always in context and aide in telling the narrative of Tate's career. We learn of his family life before and during his cricket career and how this shaped him as a man.
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