The other side of Kerry Packer’s Cricket Revolution, foreword by Mike Coward. Due October
Revised and updated, lots of illustrations including Peter Toohey on the cover. Extra interviews not to be found in the first with Sam Gannon, Steve Rixon, John Dyson, Graeme Wood and Peter Sleep… plus much extra research.
This new and improved edition of The Establishment Boys is most welcome.
The 2015 original, a fast-tracked hardback, was riddled with typographic mistakes without author Nicholls being able to even see the final proof.
Corrections and enhancements made courtesy of a new publisher, Wakefield Press, this is a far more satisfying offering and is embellished by dozens of photographs, unlike the original.
Nicholls weaves his many interviews through the narrative. Where he was unable to talk to some of the players jettisoned into the Test team during the era of World Series Cricket, like one-Test opener Paul Hibbert, who died young, Nicholls sought the opinions of his teammates.
‘Dasher (Hibbert) was unlucky to make his debut on a greentop at the Gabba,’ says Ray Bright, a former Victorian and Australian captain. ‘If it had been a flat track in Adelaide, who knows how he would have gone.’
Many of the conversations are candid, like David Ogilvie talking about Australia’s comeback captain Bobby Simpson. ‘I don’t think he was a particularly good manager of people,’ says Ogilvie. ‘There was a fair age difference (between us). I might have wanted more from Simpson on a one-one basis. And I’m sure “Simmo” wanted more from me.’
Of the 20 players to debut for traditional Australia during the 1977-79 period, many were to disappear as quickly as they arrived.
Their stories are faithfully recorded. Version II is worth the wait. – KP