RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
In the Shadow of Packer - England's Winter Tour of Pakistan and New Zealand 1977/78
In the Shadow of Packer - England's Winter Tour of Pakistan and New Zealand 1977/78 by David Battersby (Foreword by Bob Willis)

Published by Pitch Publishing Ltd.
A2 Yeoman Gate, Yeoman Way, Worthing, Sussex BN13 3QZ

Web: pitchpublishing.co.uk

Paperback 190 Pages
RRP: Sterling Pounds 12.99
ISBN 978 1 78531 136 9

On the back of winning the Ashes in the summer of 1977, England faced a gruelling and punishing four-month winter tour of Pakistan and New Zealand.

Events prior to that tour were to have a massive impact on the world of cricket with Kerry Packer having announced, prior to the summer's Ashes, plans to hold his first season of World Series Cricket; which would coincide with the England tour.

David Battersby says while researching his project, he was amazed to find out that no one had ever written a book about the 1977-78 tour of Pakistan and New Zealand, especially considering that so much had occurred during it. And what's more, it just simply was a fascinating era in the history of the game.

In the Shadow of Packer also narrates the effect of the development of World Series Cricket on the tour and cricket in general.

The Pakistan leg of the tour saw rioting at matches, caused by political unrest in the country. On the pitch, history would be created by the slowest-ever Test century scored by Mudassar Nazar. Skipper Mike Brearley was to head home with a broken arm with Geoff Boycott taking over and captaining England for the first time. Promising youngster Ian Botham recorded a maiden century, and future England captain Mike Gatting made his Test debut.

There are detailed descriptions of each Test and major game played on the tour including an account of England's first defeat by New Zealand, led by Mark Burgess, in a Test match.

There are six appendices: the tour results in Pakistan & New Zealand, questions to Mike Brearley, Bob Taylor and Bob Willis about the tour, an interview with Mark Burgess, about not only the Test in Wellington but other aspects of his career, an interview with Mudassar Nazar, where are they now? and tour memorabilia.

Attractively laid out, logically organised and lucidly written, the book is recommended for reading.