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Cricket has always been "more than a game" - to some it has seemed like an ethical religion, a training for war, or a high art form; always, though, it has been the quintessentially English sport. The roots of its powerful mythology and romantic literature lie deep in the past, and its values reflect a vanished age - the glorious heyday of late Victorian and Edwardian splendour when golden amateurs consolidated the Empire and withstood the Kaiser. "The Willow Wand" explores in spirited fashion the gap between myth and reality. It looks at amateurism in which the gentlemen were paid more than the players; a folk-hero, W.G.Grace, who was 'too clever to cheat'; the virility cult; the ruthless D.R.Jardine putting down the colonial upstart Bradman; the autocrats of MCC; Lord Harris rooting out Bolshevism at home and building up cricket in India; Sir Pelham Warner upholding the high moral code; Sir Neville Cardus bestowing intellectual respectability on a feudal dream; and - in more recent times - riots in the West Indies, the D'Oliveira affair, and the advent of Kerry Packer.
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Sir Derek Birley is the author of several books for Aurum, including The Willow Wand, A Social History of English Cricket and the trilogy Sport and the Making of Britain, which won the British Society of Sports History's Aberdare Literary Award in 1995. He retired as vice-chancellor of the University of Ulster in 1991 after a distinguished career as an educational administrator. He died in 2002.
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Book Description Simon & Schuster Ltd, 1989. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110671699725