History, Politics & Society
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Just before 6pm on a cold grey August evening in 1968 England unexpectedly won a Test match against Australia being played at Kennington Oval, London. It was the last of a five Test series, and would normally have been a sign that another English cricket season was coming to an end. This time it would all be very different.
That evening, the England Test Selectors met to finalise the squad for the upcoming winter tour of South Africa. The composition of the touring party would make newspaper headlines and be the catalyst for the chaos which followed. Over the next two years, international tours would be acrimoniously cancelled, another abandoned and one of the founding Test playing nations banned from international cricket for over twenty years. When Cricket and Politics Collided describes a remarkable period in the history of English cricket, when politics and cricket really did collide.
This book describes two Test series which were assembled at very short notice to replace cancelled series between England and South Africa. The first was the 1969 Test series between Pakistan and England. Played in a country rapidly sliding into anarchy, schedules were changed on an almost daily basis and players increasingly concerned for their own safety. The second was the 1970 series between England and the Rest of the World. For the only time in their cricket history England played five Tests against an all-stars team, one of the strongest ever assembled.
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