Since 2003 the Wisden Cricketer has run a monthly feature called ‘Eyewitness’. Each article takes a seminal moment in the history of cricket and invites the key protagonists to reminisce about it, relive it and reflect. Now for the first time the very best of ‘Eyewitness’ has been collected in one volume. The result is a fascinating tour of cricket’s most memorable moments, as told by the very people who were there and who made them happen. Here is everything from David Steele’s remarkable Test summer of 1975 to Brian Lara’s awe-inspiring first season with Warwickshire; from the Packer Revolution to Michael Holding kicking down John Parker’s stumps during West Indies’ ill-tempered 1979 tour of New Zealand; from the day the incongruous clang of Dennis Lillee’s aluminium bat first rang out across a cricket field to Essex bowling Surrey out for 14 and ‘weak Victorian’ Dean Jones being hospitalised after his 210 slog in the 40° heat of Madras.
Above all, every story is told in the words of the cricketers, reporters and bystanders who witnessed them. Like Graham Gooch reliving his magnificent triple century against India. Or Lancashire all-rounder David Hughes describing darkness fall over Old Trafford as he plundered 24 off John Mortimore at the end of an astonishing 1971 Gillette Cup semi-final.
Whether re-awakening memories of past glories or opening old wounds, Flying Stumps and Metal Bats is a unique oral history and the perfect gift for any fan of the endlessly unpredictable, ever controversial game that is cricket.
The Wisden Cricketer is the world’s highest-selling monthly cricket magazine. Launched in 2003, it will was the result of a merger between Wisden Cricket Monthly and the Cricketer.