I must openly admit that I am obsessed with vintage cricket books and the deep history of cricket 1940-1960, the players, the stories, the war and the courage to return from it. These books to me read more like fairytales of gentlemen in white who grace the field of play with poise and passion, but never forgetting the sacrifice of those before them.
It was a great joy to get my hands on such a book though a very helpful cricket captain of mine, who did admit to almost missing a prior engagement thumbing though the chapters of this book. The story itself told though the eyes of Jack Fingleton, a fine cricketer himself, is the tales of the 1948 last tour of Bradman in England and follows the invincible team as they travel from Perth to London and all the counties in-between.
This book is far from a love in of Bradman quotes, Fingleton discusses each region in terms of its supporters, grounds, culture and tactics. His descriptions of the rise of a young Ian Harvey paints a vivid picture to the reader and his praise for Arthur Morris gives light to this incredible team.
A little bit more on the author: Jack Fingleton
After his death, the cricket people of Canberra decided to honour their famous son by installing a scoreboard at the Manuka Oval. The MCG was being remodelled at the time, so the old and very serviceable MCG scoreboard was moved to Canberra. The ceremony was conducted by the Governor-General.
Tim Caldwell, the former chairman of the Australian board, who did much to restore Australia-New Zealand playing relations, remarked to Lindsay Hassett, still the dapper, impish one, "Old Fingo would have liked that, having the Governor-General do the commemoration."
"Ah," said Hassett, "but would a one-eyed New South Welshman like Fingo enjoy being marked by a bit of second-hand Victorian furniture?"