I don't know what it is about the bodyline era which fascinates me. Larwood and Jardine didn't invent hard ruthless competitive cricket. They didn't invent bodyline. They may have been the first to use film to analyse the weakness of an opposing batsman. Perhaps, as a package, they invented modern fast bowling. What they did is mild compared to what is done today. OK, OK, today's batsman is infinitely protected when compare with the batsmen of the 30s. perhaps some of the modern "greats" would not fare as well if they wore the pads, box and batting gloves of yesteryear. The book constantly makes sensible comparisons with how this saga might have played out in the modern era as opposed to how it actually played out. The book makes powerful connections with the divide between professionals such as Larwood with the amateurs such as Jardine, Allen et al. I might not have bought the book had i spotted that it was the "authorised" biography. It is none the worse for that. This is easily the best sports book I have read for some years.
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