Ernie Jones: Australia’s First Fast Bowler (2007)

This short biography is a study of Ernie Jones, not only Australia’s first fast bowler but almost inevitably a rough diamond, a big hitter and an inspiration to poets. The best known story of ‘Jonah’ bowling a ball through the beard of W.G. Grace is open to debate about when and where. Sorting out the man from the legend is often difficult as the story tracks his working life as a miner in Broken Hill and Kalgoorlie, a labourer at Adelaide Oval, and a wharfie and customs officer in Fremantle as well as the tragedies of the deaths of his children. Jones’ story is the struggle of a big man against adversity. The book is No. 4 in the Lives in Cricket series published by the Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians.

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