Baggy Green in Book-Form: Exploring the Unusual

Bernard Whimpress served — and impressed — cricketing aficionados by editing the Baggy Green journal for years …. and has now brought together a selection of essays from previous runs in an anthology that will please cricketing buffs in the world…. the more so because the collection of authors are altogether eccentric. Book available from and 0447 003 654



I began Baggy Green as a Journal of Australian Cricket with Barry Nicholls as associate editor in 1998 and continued it through twelve volumes and twenty-four issues until 2010. In my opening editorial I made reference to the Australian Cricket Journal which had operated several years before and stated that the occasion of an Ashes tour was an appropriate time to launch a new national journal. I went on to say that England had a number of outlets for historical cricket writing and presenting ‘thoughtful high-quality articles with a primarily historical focus’ was the main aim in the new publication. Twelve years later I believe I had achieved that aim.

I did not discourage academic writing but in a style guide published in each issue I stated that I wanted writing to be clear and added: ‘The editor is not opposed to theories – he has a few himself – but expects articles to be devoid of jargon and other obfuscatory devices.’ I am pleased to say that those academics who offered articles played by my rules.

At the beginning I entertained hope that the journal might become a semi-official national publication of the Australian Cricket Society and to that end carried news of branch activities in early editions. At the same time maintaining editorial independence was important and I did not fancy producing a publication directed by a multi-headed committee. The result was that while many loyal subscribers were members of various ACS branches, and the New South Wales branch made block orders for several early issues, the publication never achieved a wide readership.

Numbers of subscribers began at just over 100 and climbed to a peak of 300 before settling between 150 and 200. BG never lost money but neither did it do much more than break even. Then again it was never driven by a profit motive. Readers were understandably disappointed when stumps were pulled but it had enjoyed a natural life and it was time to go.

The intention behind this anthology is to remind old readers of, and awaken new ones to, the journal’s place in Australian cricket literature. In making my selections from around half a million words it would have been tempting to choose the best articles, or to be democratic and either poll past subscribers on their favourite stories or ask contributors for their own preferred pieces for inclusion. Instead I have chosen a representative sample, ensuring that there is at least one but no more than two stories per issue, and that no writer has more than one article. I hope that no one is offended by being omitted but would add that I have not included any piece of my own.

Bernard Whimpress, January 2016


Preface                                                                                              9                                                    

Vol.1 No.1

Royal Park Reds: Bringing the Class Struggle to the                    11

Cricket Field

Tony Roberts

Vol.1 No.2

In Defence of Bay 13                                                                         20

Murray Hedgcock

When Stumps were Palings and Boys were Kings                     28

Graeme Orr

Vol.2 No.1

A Selection Odyssey: The 1926 Australian Ashes Tourists      32

Mark Schwartz

Vol.2 No.2

Caught Lillee Bowled Marsh                                                        38

J.J. Hackett

Alexander Barass: War Hero                                                        40

Mike Spurrier

 Vol.3 No.1

Eye on the Ball: Some Cricketing Metaphors                                      45

Chris Hamilton

Vol.3 No.2

Facing Michael Kasprowicz                                                          51

John Harms

Billy Murdoch: Forgotten Third Member of a                            58

Legendary Trio

Patrick Rodgers

Vol.4 No.1

More Than Just Cricketers                                                             65

James Rodgers

A Neronic Piece of Grandiloquence                                             74

Neville Turner

Vol.4 No.2

Come Watson, The Game is … Cricket, Perhaps?                      82

Nigel Hart

 Vol.5 No.1

Red and Green: A Captain’s Colours                                           92

David Headon

Respect the Past, Attack the Future – S.R. Waugh                   `98

Daniel Brettig

Vol.5 No.2

Playing Games in Wagga Wagga                                                105

Jim Young

Vol.6 No.1

After the Interval: Families and Good Old Boys at the            114

Glenelg Cricket Club in the Interwar Years

Cliff Thomas

Vol. 6 No.2

The Old and the New: In Memoriam, David Hookes               125

Michael Roberts

Waiting for Clarrie Grimmett’s topspinner                               133

Jim Rosevear

Vol.7 No.1

Cricket in North Queensland                                                      137

Warwick Torrens

Vol.7 No.2

Ken Meuleman: An Appreciation                                              145

Bill Reynolds

Vol.8 No.1

The Spirit of ’66: The Oval                                                        152

Robert Bartlett

Vol.8 No.2

Encounter in Chennai                                                                  171

Ross Perry

Roy L. Park: A Personal Appreciation                                     174

Gregory de Moore

Vol.9 No.1

Carracher and Carragher: No Relation                                     180

  Ray Webster

Vol.9 No.2

I was there: Tassie’s Triumph                                                  186

Michael Gandy

Bradman – Fantasy                                                                    198

Brian Matthews

Vol.10 No.1

Remembering Les: Coaching By Hook or By Cut                  203

Barry Nicholls

Vol. 10 No. 2

A Weekend with The Don 1939-40                                          210

     Ken Woolfe

Vol. 11 No. 1

The Continued Development of the Bibliography                   215

of Cricket

  Stephen Gibbs

Vol. 11 No. 2

Crusade or Conspiracy?: The treatment of Ian Meckiff         232

     Warwick Franks

Vol. 12 No. 1

Andy Bichel: An Appreciation                                                  242

    Wayne Lawrence

Vol. 12 No. 2

Memories of an English boyhood                                            253

Robert Seeckts

Signature Piece                                                                            259

  Aaron Owen

Contributors                                                                   268…..These notes were valid at the time the contributions appeared. Many of the authors have published widely since that time.

Robert Bartlett hates one-day cricket except when he is playing and car windscreens are in the firing line. He has just purchased a St. Kilda football jumper for his first child due in February.

Daniel Brettig is a journalism student at the University of South Australia.

Gregory de Moore attended Wesley College in 1972 on a Roy L. Park scholarship. He is the director of postgraduate psychiatry training, Westmead Hospital, Sydney. He has completed a PhD history thesis on the life of Tom Wills.

Warwick Franks is a former editor of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack Australia and one of a team engaged on A Biographical Dictionary of Australian First-Class Cricketers.

Michael Gandy is editor of the Australian Cricket Society (TAS) newsletter Break o’ Day and a Tasmanian Cricket Association board member.

Stephen Gibbs is a cricket bibliographer and the author of Post Padwick: the Gibbs Extension of Padwick’s Bibliography of Cricket: 1990–2006.

J.J. Hackett was a drummer with Mondo Rock. He still drums around Adelaide as well as looking after his small son.

Chris Hamilton is an Adelaide industrial psychologist and management consultant well known for his book with Graham Winter, The Business Athlete.

John Harms is a freelance journalist and the author of two books, Confessions of a Thirteenth Man and Memoirs of a Mug Punter. He is completing a new book on Australian Rules football.

Nigel Hart co-authored three books with Bernard Whimpress and his statistical biography of J.N. Crawford will be published in the Master Cricketer series. Nigel died in 1997.

David Headon is a cultural advisor for the National Capital Authority, director of the Centre for Australian Cultural Studies, and editor of The Best Ever Book of Australian Sports Writing.

Murray Hedgcock is a London-based correspondent for the Australian. He is a regular contributor to Wisden and Wisden Cricket Monthly, and recently edited a book on P.G. Wodehouse’s love of cricket, Wodehouse at the Wicket.

Wayne Lawrence is a business analyst for Community CPS Australia and a regular contributor to this journal.

Brian Matthews is a professor of English at Flinders University and a writer across several genres – biography, fiction, literary criticism, popular culture and sport. Among his sporting books are Oval Dreams and The Temple Down the Road.

Barry Nicholls is a broadcaster on ABC, Alice Springs and a contributor to Wisden Australia, Cricket Lore and Inside Edge.

Graeme Orr is an avid cricket listener. In his spare time he teaches law at Griffith University and is a director of the Co-op chain of bookshops.

Aaron Owen is a googly bowler with the Echunga Cricket Clu and a regular contributor to this journal.

Ross Perry is a Melbourne Cricket Club library volunteer and tour

Bill Reynolds is a leading Western Australian cricket historian who has represented WA Country XIs, and been a former junior coach, administrator and umpire.

Tony Roberts is an editor who bowled the first over for the Royal Park Reds and later captained the side.

Michael Roberts is an anthropologist at the University of Adelaide and the co-author of Crosscurrents: Sri Lanka and Australia at Cricket.

James Rodgers is director of students at St. Ignatius College, Sydney and beginning his thirtieth year as a playing member of the Sydney University Cricket Club.

Patrick Rodgers teaches English and coaches cricket at St. Joseph’s College, Sydney. He previously captained and was honorary secretary of the Sydney University Cricket Club.

Jim Rosevear is a former master at Scotch College, Adelaide. His most recent book is Knuckles, a biographer of the South Australian

footballer, Neil Kerley.

Mark Schwartz was a lawyer, Adelaide district cricketer, and briefly a member of the South Australian team squad in the early 1970s. Mark died of leukaemia just before his article went to print.

Robert Seeckts is a Tunbridge Wells (Kent) solicitor and a passionate cricket lover since the Second World War.

Mike Spurrier lives in Surrey and has a special interest in military cricketers.

James Stewart is a peripatetic American academic who took a PhD at the University of Queensland between 1995 and 1999 while spending many happy hours at the Queensland Cricketers Club.

Cliff Thomas is an Adelaide Oval tour guide, the honorary historian of the Glenelg District Cricket Club and a contributor toThe Oxford Companion to Australian Cricket and Long Boundary.

Warwick Torrens is an expert on Queensland cricket and one of a team engaged on a Biographical Dictionary of Australian First- Class Cricketers.

J. Neville Turner is a Melbourne barrister and solicitor and president of the Victorian branch of the Australian Cricket Society.

Ray Webster is a Melbourne Cricket Club library volunteer and one of a team engaged on a Biographical Dictionary of AustralianFirst-Class Cricketers.

Ken Woolfe is a cricket bibliophile and a former president of the Victorian branch of the Australian Cricket Society.

Jim Young is a broken-down park cricketer and the author of Any Old Eleven.


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