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Bernard Whimpress

Bernard Whimpress is a writer, historian, and former curator of the Adelaide Oval Museum. A member of the Australian Society for Sports History, Bernard has written twenty books mainly on sport, including The Official MCC Ashes Treasures, Passport to Nowhere: Aborigines in Australian Cricket 1850–1939, The Greatest Ashes Battles and as co-author The History of Australian Cricket. He published and edited the Australian cricket journal Baggy Green from 1998 to 2010.

Bernard Whimpress reviews 'Feeling is the Thing that Happens in 1000th of a Second: A season of cricket photographer Patrick Eagar' by Christian Ryan and 'Lillee & Thommo: The deadly pair’s reign of terror' by Ian Brayshaw

January–February 2018, no. 398 22 December 2017
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, or around 150 to 180 pictures. An Eagar predecessor such as Denni ... (read more)

Bernard Whimpress reviews 'Stroke of Genius: Victor Trumper and the shot that changed cricket' by Gideon Haigh

December 2016, no. 387 30 November 2016
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 bowler in B grade, with just the o ... (read more)

Bernard Whimpress reviews 'The Keepers' by Malcolm Knox

January-February 2016, no. 378 23 December 2015
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 flashes and gets a thick edge to a b ... (read more)

Bernard Whimpress reviews 'The Strangers Who Came Home' by John Lazenby

April 2015, no. 370 30 March 2015
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 chose a twelve man touring party, ... (read more)

Bernard Whimpress reviews 'The Invincibles: New Norcia’s Aboriginal cricketers 1879–1906' by Bob Reece

March 2015, no. 369 02 March 2015
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 bet ... (read more)

Bernard Whimpress reviews 'The Commonwealth Games: Extraordinary stories behind the medals' by Brian Oliver

August 2014, no. 363 01 August 2014
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 sporting history. In explaining his re ... (read more)

Bernard Whimpress reviews 'Bradman’s War: How the 1948 Invincibles Turned the Cricket Pitch into a Battlefield' by Malcolm Knox

December 2012–January 2013, no. 347 27 November 2012
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 w ... (read more)

Bernard Whimpress reviews 'The Aboriginal Soccer Tribe: A History of Aboriginal Involvement with the World Game' by John Maynard

June 2012, no. 342 22 May 2012
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 ... (read more)

Bernard Whimpress reviews 'The Premier and the Pastoralist: William Morgan and Peter Waite' by James Waite

February 2012, no. 338 21 January 2012
Family histories have their limitations. One compensation is to discover famous or infamous ancestors. In most Australian states, disinterring a convict becomes a badge of honour. In South Australia, having a nineteenth-century premier and a noted pastoralist in one’s lineage advances a claim to fame. Author James Waite Morgan is the great-grandson of two notable colonial figures, and the captiv ... (read more)
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