The new Adelaide Oval has many admirers. ‘Graceful’, ‘charming’, ‘refined’, ‘modest’, ‘an exquisite jewel’ were words and a phrase used to describe the old ground. When it became evident that the old western stands were due for demolition in 2009 I took several hundred photographs (116 of which are reproduced here) to provide a record of a lost place and time.
Critics might argue that the Oval could not be left in a time-warp, that bricks and mortar don’t matter, that real history is what occurs on the ground. However spectator experience stretches further than this to social occasions on the mounds (north and south), in and behind the grandstands, as well as to the parks outside.
People are largely absent because I want the viewer to experience the ground in repose, to reflect, to feel a gentler place. Captions are few because I do not want to direct the viewer to specific objects and places but rather to create an impression of an enchanting whole. The result, I trust, is something like a poetic tribute to a grand old ground.
The book is published in two forms: as an ebook for $4.99 and as a hardback for $90.
E book from au.blurb.com/ebooks/590948
Hard copies from au.blurb.com/b/7714031
I have just republished Clarence Moody’s 1898 book in a limited edition of 80 copies. The book is a little gem drawing on the memories of old-timers as well as the author’s own observations from the end of the century. It deals with the foundations of club cricket, the formation of the SA Cricket Association, the establishment of Adelaide Oval as well as early intercolonial and international contests.
This book presents a collection of autographs from the late 1920s featuring individual cricketers and teams from international to club level, leading Australian Rules footballers, lawn bowlers, walkers, press journalists and sporting administrators. A fascinating aspect of the collection are the brief notes relating to the wider sporting careers which accompany many signatures. It includes an introductory essay detailing numerous sportsmen and a biographical note on the collector.
Baggy Green, a journal of Australian cricket was published and edited by me for twelve years. Its prime aim was to encourage historical and literary writing about the game. This selection contains at least one article from each of the 24 issues, giving a broad representative sample of contributors’ work and the range of subjects covered by them.
This is the story of a boy growing up in the South Australian river town of Murray Bridge in the 1950s and 1960s and of a young man moving to the big smoke in Adelaide. It is about beginnings, foundations and transitions, about stability and shifting abodes, about frustrations in love and work, about a search for identity and fulfilment.
A fine glance is an elegant cricket stroke. Like my earlier collection of writings on sport – Off Cuts (2007) – these essays are assembled from various pieces written over the past twenty years. Among the subjects considered are selection, throwing, Bodyline, ethics, racism, politics, poetry, aesthetics and much more.
Adelaide Oval is world famous for cricket and with a renowned football history. However, in 1878 the first tennis club in Australia was formed at the ground and the Oval hosted nineteen colonial and state championships, including two Australasian championships in 1910 and 1920. This is the story of the big events and the clubs – Adelaide Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club and the Adelaide Oval Lawn Tennis Club which occupied the lawns for over 130 years.