Friday, May 25, 2007

Summer of 88

One of my favourite cricket books is the one on the right called West Indian Summer - The Test Series of 1988. It's full of fantastic writing and shots from Patrick Eagar: a smiling Viv Richards; crazy-eyed Curtly Ambrose appealing; the Windies celebrating in floppy hats; Robin Smith fending off sharpish deliveries.

Of course, there hasn't really been a good book involving the West Indies since. This series finished 4-0 and may well have finished a whitewash had it not been for a rainy Trent Bridge in the first Test.

This was when cricket hit me (as a ten-year-old) as hard as Marshall, Ambrose, Walsh and Patterson throwing down 100mph deliveries at the same time. Spellbound as to who these players were with the tenacity to bat with floppy hats against the might of DeFreitas, Jarvis, Dilley and Pringle; too young to realise what England skipper Mike Gatting was reportedly doing with the barmaid when it was splashed all over the tabloids.

It was a pretty hot summer that year, too. Becker and Edberg were gracing a Wimbledon final, Gabriella Sabatini's legs were also out in force and it was an era when London's West Indians treated the traditional fifth Test at the Oval as a home ground for the tourists.

Recall the series here.