Author: Richard I. Cashman
The Oxford Companion to Australian Cricket covers every aspect of a sport in which Australians have long excelled and which at various times has inspired and united the nation. No other book on Australian cricket offers such a combination of historical and statistical information andanalytical commentary. For the first time cricket followers around the world will be able to access facts, statistics, biography and commentary within a single book. The Companion examines the origins and development of cricket in this country, the great personalities who have dominated the sport inthe eyes of the world, and its important role in shaping sporting tradition and culture in Australia.Produced in association with the Australian Society for Sports History, the Companion is edited by six specialists with long and varied connections with the sport. It includes contributions by numerous writers around Australia, including a dozen celebrity authors writing on aspects of the sport withwhich they are associated. There are entries on every cricketer who has represented Australia at Test level, male and female, as well as notable Shield players. These biographical entries also include full statistical data updated to 1995/96. Fifteen legendary cricketers - from Trumper and Bradmanto Benaud and the Chappells - are considered in full-length essays of 1000 words or more. In addition, there are articles on great commentators (e.g. Alan McGilvray, Norman May), barrackers ('Yabba'), officials and entrepreneurs, coaches, politicians, umpires, scorers, writers and equipment makers.No-one who has made a significant contribution to Australian cricket is ignored. However, the Companion is not just a biographical work. Australia's seven Test grounds all rate individual entries, along with 30 other venues. Cricket being a highly institutionalised and traditional sport, space is devoted to the history and achievements of 50 major cricket clubs and institutions.Interspersed throughout the text are fifty entries covering bizarre, humorous and controversial events over the past 150 years. These include Dennis Lillee's aluminium bat affair, Terry Alderman's fateful encounter with an English fan in Perth, marathon innings and unforgettable hat-tricks,Aboriginal tours in the nineteenth century and Bradman's Invincibles almost a century later, tied Tests and stuffed swallow. Fondly recalled by cricket followers, these 'mood pieces' form one of the most entertaining features of an always accessible and readable Companion.The core of the Companion is its extended critical and analytical coverage of Australian cricket. Approximately one-third of the Companion is devoted to essay-length articles on major aspects of the sport and on our cricketing relations with every other cricket-playing country. Some of thesethematic essays are listed below:The Ashes All-rounders Barrackers Bodyline Bradman Costume Country Week Crowds Ethnicity Film Gambling Humour Laws of Cricket Media Radio Rebel tours Sheffield Shield Sponsorship Television Umpires and umpiring Violence Women Readers of books on cricket insist on the most accurate and extensive statistical information. Considerable space is devoted in ours to individuals' statistics at the Test and state levels - matches played and captained, innings, not out, highest scores, total runs, centuries, batting averages,wickets, runs conceded, five wicket performances, bowling averages. Limited overs cricket is covered in full - both international and domestic. There is additional information about crowds, benefit matches, the World Cup, hat-tricks, length of overs, and throwing (33 recorded instances to date). Forgreater ease of access, most of this information accompanies individual entries on cricketers, but a statistical appendix will include all the facts about leading run scorers and wicket takers, leading wicket keepers and fielders, partnership records, highest and lowest innings totals, youngest andoldest players, highest individual innings, and tied matches. Finally, the Companion features 150 superb photographs of famous players, venues and events, plus an exhaustive bibliography.