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472 pages, hardback
Who Only Cricket Know, Hutton’s Men in the West Indies 1953/54 tells the story of the second most controversial tour in English cricket history, which has not been revisited since two tour books came out in its immediate aftermath.The cricket is dramatic, the key characters fascinating, and it is awash with incidents on and off the field, many of them involving race and social class.
This was the first tour in which MCC travelled by plane (although they returned home on the boat) and the first time they were captained by a professional player – Len Hutton. It was also Hutton’s Yorkshire teammate Fred Trueman’s debut tour and for the opposition, the Three Ws were in their pomp and a young man called Garfield Sobers made his international bow.
David Woodhouse has meticulously researched every aspect of the tour as well as carrying out a number of interviews, retaining the nuances and subtleties of the different levels of the story. He takes us through the lead-up to the tour, the warm-up games and the five Test matches, as well as the recriminations that took place both at Lord’s and in the West Indies.