Bernard Whimpress

A modern cricket photographer using digital single-lens reflex cameras and high-speed motor drives can take 5,000 photos in a day’s play. With such a surfeit of images, the quality of seeing is diminished. For most of his career from the 1970s to the 2010s, English photographer Patrick Eagar would shoot four or five rolls of film ...

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Fifty years ago, Brian Scheer, a tall, sinewy Imperials fast bowler, thrilled a handful of boys by driving bowlers of all descriptions straight over their heads, depositing their deliveries in clumps of thick weeds on a low hill at the northern end of the Murray Bridge High School No. 2 Oval. Imps practised on Thursday evenings, and Scheer was the regular opening bo ...

OPEN LETTER TO THE PRIME MINISTER AND MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND BORDER CONTROL

Dear Prime Minister and Minister Dutton,

As writers committed to protecting and defending human rights, and as citizens of conscience, we the undersigned wish to express our deep abhorrence of the ongoing mistreatment of refugees in Australia's offshore detention centres.

A ...

Second ball, day three of the 2014 Boxing Day Test match and Australian wicket-keeper Brad Haddin dives full length in front of first slip Shane Watson to catch Indian number three batsman Cheteshwar Pujara off Ryan Harris single-handed in the webbing of his glove. Virat Kohli replaces Pujara, and in the last over of the day he is still there, with 169 runs. He flas ...

Enterprise and energy are integral to this story. Without the enterprise of James Lillywhite and John Conway there would have been no Australian tour to England in 1878. Nottingham professional Lillywhite, who captained England in the first-ever Test matches at Melbourne in March-April 1877, arranged the English fixture list and former Victorian all-rounder Conway c ...

Emeritus Professor Bob Reece has published widely on Aboriginal history and on New Norcia history in particular. In a brief preface he notes that his paternal grandfather and father were fine cricketers and that he (a poor player) has followed the game from the time of Don Bradman’s Invincibles in the late 1940s. When he learned of the Benedictine Mission’s Aboriginal cricketers who played between 1879 and 1906, the story demanded to be told. Without doubt Reece is the best person to tell it.

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The Commonwealth Games, like the Commonwealth of Nations, often seem irrelevant. I intended to declare my bias in this review when I found author Brian Oliver saying the same thing on the first page of his introduction. But, as the author points out, the Games have survived the political, cultural, and sporting odds for more than eighty years and have a rich sportin ...

At last, new Bradman territory to be conquered: the Don 1939–45 or, if we discount the ‘phoney war’ (‘Business as Usual’, as Robert Menzies said of that first phase in World War II), perhaps 1941–45. I imagined a slim volume. Not so! Instead, there is a catch to the subtitle of Bradman’s War: How the 1948 Invincibles Turned the Cricket Pitch into a Battlefield, which indicates that we will be on more familiar terrain.‘More familiar’ because this book is an attempt at revisionist history. Questioning the Bradman idolatry and the invincibility of the Invincibles is a suitable aim. However, the main task for the revisionist historian is to provide either fresh new evidence or a powerful reinterpretation of existing evidence as part of formulating a balanced argument: Malcolm Knox does neither.

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Communities, extended family connections, and role models have been keys to Aboriginal participation in Australian sport. Other factors – racist exclusion among them – have limited the appearance of Indigenous athletes in professional running and boxing. The high proportion of Aboriginal footballers now playing in the Australian Football League and both rugby codes inevitably begs the question of absences in other major sports.

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A favourite quiz question for cricket history buffs has been ‘Who is the only Nobel Prize winner to play first-class cricket?’ Answer: Samuel Beckett. A question for cricket bibliophiles now might well be ‘Which Nobel Prize winner contributed an essay to an Australian cricket book?’ Answer: J.M. Coetzee.

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