I admit it, I am a cricket tragic. After hearing Geoff Lemon's interview on my local radio station, I bought this book immediately (the beauty of Kindle and Amazon!). I had some idea of the culture in the Australian cricket team, but I was totally unaware of the extent of sledging and creative ball-altering techniques that seem to be alive and well in today's world of cricket. This book does include a fairly extensive review of the tests leading up to sandpaper-gate but it helped set the ill-fated series in South Africa in context for me. As I watch the series against India in this Aussie summer of 2018, I wonder how much has changed.
So I have to admit reading this to indulge in a little bit of schadenfreude. Having spent my first 33 years in England and the following 20 in Australia you may think I have a dilemma in terms of my cricket team. However having seen the attitude of the winning Australian teams, I have had no patience with either them or the much poorer teams of today. This book certainly met my need for gloating, but it is rather more substantial than that. An insightful and at times lyrical account of a fall from grace that was a long time coming (longer than even Lemon suggests) it does give us a great insight into not only the seedy background to the administration of Australian cricket, but also what it’s like to be a journalist on the ground when a media storm erupts. A great read
I found this an absolutely compelling read. It gives the reader an amazing and objective insight into the incidents and culture that led to one of Australia's more notorious moments in sport. Finding out more about the key players and the "business" behind cricket gives a much broader perspective of how things can go so wrong.
Whether you are a cricket fan or just intrigued about how culture, circumstances and pivotal incidents can lead people to make morally dubious decisions this is a great read.