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The year that changed cricket

PUBLISHED: 14:00 04 November 2017

Australian television tycoon Kerry Packer at a press conference at the Dorchester Hotel to announce that he is to take cricketing bodies to court over the dispute regarding his World Series Cricket competition.

Australian television tycoon Kerry Packer at a press conference at the Dorchester Hotel to announce that he is to take cricketing bodies to court over the dispute regarding his World Series Cricket competition.

PA Archive/PA Images

Book Review - The Cricket War by Gideon Haigh - Wisden, £12.99

The Cricket War by Gideon HaighThe Cricket War by Gideon Haigh

It was the moment when cricket changed forever.

Australian cricket on TV had been a closed shop for many years with the players earning a pittance in comparison to today, but one man was determined to change that.

Kerry Packer took on the establishment with his Channel 9 TV station with a revolution in the game which was to be called World Series Cricket.

Things would never be the same again. He signed many of the world’s top players including Ian Chappell, Clive Lloyd and England captain Tony Greig.

He introduced coloured clothing, helmets, floodlit cricket and white balls, things that we now take as standard in the game today.

Gideon Haigh has written a definitive book on the subject entitled ‘The Cricket War’ and it has now been updated from it’s original publication in 1993 and been released for the first time in the UK this month.

The Aussie writer tracks the origins of the cricket ‘circus’, reflects on the matches themselves, the political fall-out and how that period from May 1977 is viewed today.

The book is published by Wisden and priced at £12.99.

An ideal read for cricket historians and lovers of the game, it could be an ideal stocking filler with Christmas coming up.

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