Despite its faults, this book has the merit of being the first biography on the legendary Australian batsman, Victor Trumper (1877–1915). Young cricket lovers of today may well ask what feats of batsmanship Trumper performed to deserve this handsomely produced volume about him. After all, his test average was only 39.04, not to be spoken of in the same breath as Don Bradman’s 99.96.
Ashley Mallett, former test cricketer turned journalist, offers plenty of testimony from eyewitnesses that Trumper was the greatest batsman of his era (pre-World War I) and possibly of all time. But how do you measure ‘greatness’ if not in the number of runs scored?