Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 70% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now Shop now
Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful read on a great player, 1 Sept. 2013
This review is from: Then Came Massacre: The Story of Maurice Tate, Cricket's Smiling Destroyer (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. He only ran in eight paces, yet scores of batsmen were beaten for pace by a quicker ball that 'fizzed'; great players too. Tate was responsible for five of Donald Bradman's first thirteen Test dismissals, this at a time when Tate was past his peak and Bradman very much at his.

Tate was a celebrity in an era when such status came less easily than today. His ready smile and big feet, as regularly utilised by Daily Mail cartoonist Tom Webster, ensured that this would be the case and he was endorsed several products, including an energy supplement, chocolate, washing powder and cigarettes.

All of which suggests that Tate was a wealthy man, at least for the period, but that was far from the case. A succession of poor business ventures dogged his personal life and he flitted from pub to pub as landlord after his career ended, without making a success of any of them.

To some extent, history has forgotten him, although Sussex fans voted him their greatest-ever player in 2003. Rightly so, as he took 2784 wickets for them at 18, adding in 21,000 runs at 25 with 23 centuries for good measure. The figures are staggering, but Maurice Tate was far from an ordinary player. His 155 Test wickets came at a time when there were no opportunities to 'boost the stats' against lesser opposition and he should be judged alongside the greats of the game by any standards one cares to mention.

Justin Parkinson has done an admirable job with this book, which is beautifully researched, well laid-out and engagingly written. Too many books recount the major events of a career without helping you to get close to and better understand the subject. By the end of this one, I felt I 'knew' Maurice Tate and felt the better for it.

Once again, Pitch Publishing have come up with a worthy, eminently readable book that deserves to do well.

It certainly gets a Peakfan thumbs-up.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in

Review Details



Location: Scotland

Top Reviewer Ranking: 25,983