CA opens itself for scrutiny for book

CA had given renowned cricket authors Gideon Haigh and David Frith full access to its archives and other records for their book.

updated: October 25, 2007 06:47 IST
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Cricket Australia (CA) had given renowned cricket authors Gideon Haigh and David Frith full access to its archives and other records.

It has been given for a full and frank account of the governing body's decisions of the past century, for their book "Inside Story: Unlocking Australian Cricket's Archives".

The book, which went on sale on Monday, analyses the decision-making, which shaped the cricket and its growth and controversies in Australia.

CA chairman Creagh O'Connor said that the directors decided that a game as important as cricket to the Australian way of life, needed to have its history recorded credibly.

"The debate around the board table was that a full and frank history might cause some short-term discomfort in some areas but Australian cricket was too important to too many for us to be satisfied with a vanity publication that pulled its punches," said O'Connor.

"We ask the cricketers who wear the baggy green to play hard but fair and it was only logical to ask our historians to do the same."

The Australian cricket board first discussed commissioning an official history in 1932 and but it took 75 years for the job to be done as most of the publishers and authors assessed that the job could not be done.

O'Connor praised the authors as being the only cricket writers in the world who could have done the job.

"Gideon Haigh and David Frith have produced a 285,000-word text which combines readability, scholarship and deep cricketing knowledge," he said.

O'Connor also thanked Australian cricket legend Richie Benaud for his support of the project.

Benaud wrote the forward for the book and also officiated at the launch of the book on Monday.

Benaud has noted many changes to the game since his own first-class debut in 1948-49.

But he also pointed out one consistency: "There is though something about cricket in Australia that has always held firm: that any youngster with the skill and right temperament will always be given the chance to play cricket for his country and to do so with distinction; irrespective of the walk of life from which he might have come from."