Almost 40 years ago, there were two national Australian cricket teams existing in seemingly parallel universes: the glamorous, ‘rock-star’ players of World Series Cricket run by media mogul Kerry Packer; and the traditional Australian Test team made up of young poorly paid men who represented their country in the establishment international Test arena.
Incredibly, four decades later we know more than ever about the characters and plot-twists of the WSC saga, thanks to a commercial media-driven fascination with magnate Kerry Packer and the household-name cricket heroes of the day. But the story of the players who stuck solid to the Australian Cricket Board is largely forgotten or simply unknown.
David Wod chats with the author former cricketer, now radio journalist and sportswriter Barry Nicholls. He sets the record straight and fills in the gaps by tracking down and holding honest, forthright conversations with those once-young men known as the Establishment Boys. Some players found mainstream success when the warring cricket factions reconciled in 1979; but others were derided by the press and their careers thrown on the scrapheap.
This is the story of the Test matches, the series and tours of the 1977-79 seasons, in which the untried and largely unappreciated Establishment Boys carried Australia’s cricketing banner. What effect did this brief time in the spotlight have on the players involved, their careers, families, lives? Who survived? Who didn’t? Where are they now?