RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
The Bodyline Hypocrisy
The Bodyline Hypocrisy - Conversations with Harold Larwood
Michael Arnold

First Published by Know the Score, 2008
Second edition published by Pitch Publishing

ISBN 978-1-90917-845-8

Pages 254

Price Sterling Pounds 12.99

Jane Camillin

Email: jane.camillin@pitchpublishing.co.uk


Michael Arnold, born in England but lived in Australia for over 30 years, has brought out the most thorough, unbiased account of the Bodyline series.

Arnold says: "This book has been written in memory of a lovely man whom I was lucky enough to have had the privilege of knowing and with a view to exploring and exposing issues and aspects affecting the 1932-33 series that have previously been overlooked or deliberately avoided.

Arnold's meeting with Harold Larwood came about quite by chance when Arnold's mother-in-law happened to mention that Larwood lived nearby. It was this initial meeting and the many subsequent discussions with Larwood that convinced him that there was far more to the events of the infamous 1932-33 tour than had been mentioned by previous conventional accounts.

Arnold believes Harold Larwood was undoubtedly one of the fastest bowlers ever and one of the most accurate. "Suffice it to say that such was his speed, ground staff at Trent Bridge had to keep three complete sets of stumps ready because he smashed so many when clean-bowling batsmen."

The Bodyline Hypocrisy analyses the influence of Australian culture on events, and on exaggerations and distortions previously accepted as fact - and so it emerges how Australia was unable to accept that its demigod Bradman had been brought down to earth other than by unfair means.

An avid researcher and amateur historian, Arnold specialises in cricket and military history and was for many years the Australian correspondent for the Hampshire Cricket Society. In 2011, his book The Sacrifice of Singapore: Churchill's Biggest Blunder was an instant success, revealing as it did the real reasons for the fall of Singapore in 1942 and also uncovering previously ignored evidence of the true size of the Japanese forces.

Very thoroughly researched and immensely readable, the book deserves to be widely read. This excellent study fills an important gap in the shelves of cricket history.