Bentley, Richard – A War to the Knife (1930s nostalgia), new


Softback, new.


This 312 page softback book tells the story of two Test match series: England vs West Indies in 1933 and West Indies vs England in 1935.

The England team was one of the best to ever play the game. Their side including: Herbert Sutcliffe, Wally Hammond, Harold Larwood and captained by Douglas Jardine had just battered Australia by 4-1 in the infamous Bodyline series.

Australians regarded Bodyline as a travesty: what was supposed to be a gentle game for gentlemen had been turned into a struggle for dominance characterised by violence, intimidation and injury.

The West Indian team, made up of from the populations of Britain’s scattered possessions in the Caribbean and divided by race as well as island loyalties, seemingly, had little chance against Jardine’s juggernaut. But cricket in the West Indies was more than just a game, the cricket field was a place where the island’s black population could meet their white compatriots as equals in competition, competitions they often won. West Indian cricket was an exciting new thing, suffused with athletic excellence, passion, the desire for dignity and financial security. Could men of steel like Learie Constantine, Manny Martindale and George Headley take West Indian cricket out into the world and beat the best the British had to offer?

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