Jardine's tour of India
g.maclennan at SPAMqut.edu.au
Tue Nov 21 23:47:32 MST 2000
I noticed on the list demographics that there is a subscriber from
India. I wonder if they know anything about a very interesting moment in
the politics of sport. The English cricket team of 1932-3 is notorious for
its aggressive bowling in the test series against Australia. I won't go
into the technical stuff but basically the English fast bowlers bowled at
the batsmen's head and heart and set the field so that the batter could
neither fend off the ball or hit it safely. As a result the English won
and Australia' great batsman and public hero, Sir Donald Bradman was humbled.
This all took place at the height of the Depression when because England
demanded repayment on loans the Australian economy collapsed. So as is the
way of things here in the absence of a revolutionary struggle politics
flowed into sport. There were near riots they say after one of the Test
matches. However Australia being Australia in the end they took the
punishment that the Brits meted out to them.
I lecture on this each year to my Australian students and make the point
that if the Australians had genuinely rioted then Jardine the English
captain would have had to employ alternative tactics. As proof of this I
cite the instance of Jardine's subsequent tour to India. There he tried
the body line tactic again and in response the crowd charged the
pitch. end of tour of course and equally interestingly - the end of body
line. The tactic was outlawed by the cricket authorities. So as I say the
contrast is between the response of the moderate who continues to take the
punishment that the master class dishes out and the rebels who actually
make the master back off.
I enjoy this part of my lecture enormously, but I have to confess that the
audience are less enthusiastic. But why should they be happy?
I would be grateful if the Indian subscriber could give me a reference for
more detail on Jardine in India or even comment.
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