10 for 66 and All That by Arthur Mailey

By Arthur Mailey

Arthur Mailey's vintage autobiography, first released in 1958, is a wry and interesting account by means of a skilled cricketer from a truly various era—full of zest, various, speedy, transferring the purpose of assault, occasionally extravagant, often fabulous and continuously considerate. For 50 years, Arthur Mailey performed and watched top quality cricket. in the course of his try profession he performed opposed to the various greats, and on one extraordinary celebration brushed off his idol, Victor Trumper, to his quick remorse: "I felt like a boy who had killed a dove." this can be a reminder of the respect days of cricket—amateurs and execs, Bradman, Noble, and Trumper batting, and Barnes, O'Reilly, and Fleetwood-Smith with the ball.

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He stood poised like a panther ready to spring. Down came his left foot to within a foot of the ball. The bat, swung from well over his shoulders, met the ball just as it fizzed off the pitch, and the next sound I heard was a rapping on the offside fence. It was the most beautiful shot I have ever seen. The immortal Yabba made some attempt to say something but his voice faded away to the soft gurgle one hears at the end of a kookaburra’s song. The only person on the ground who didn’t watch the course of the ball was Victor Trumper.

My length, never at any period of my cricketing career satisfactory, was at this time abominable. Several times the ball went off course and struck the batsman in the next net and on at least one occasion the ball was taken off me. After practice I sped back to the house, tore some clothes off the nail on the back of the bedroom door, and off I went to my drawing lessons at ‘Watty’s’ studio at the other end of the city. 17 10 for 66 and All That 21/7/08 5:22 PM Page 18 10 for 66 and All That A crazy strike broke out in the bottle works and much against my grain as an individualist I too had to stop work.

A Test match place meant £25, almost eight weeks’ wages at the Water Board, and perhaps more important, a measure of pride to a little hard-worked woman and her war-crippled son who watched the match from a public stand. My independent mother never went to the Members’ enclosure even though she had a ticket. ‘Too many toffs there,’ she said. ‘And we’re quite happy. ’ I remember one occasion when she wasn’t so happy though. Out in the middle I was having a pretty rough time at the hands of Jack Hobbs, Patsy Hendren and Frank Woolley, and the crowd became hostile.

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