The Man Who Stood Up to Bradman
By Greg Growden
2008 marks the 100th anniversary of Fingleton's birth. One of the best opening batsmen to have represented Australia, Jack Fingleton will always be remembered as a formidable and courageous batter during the Bodyline series.
Jack Fingleton is one of Australian cricket's most important and intriguing characters. In John Arlott's words: 'He is himself?and a diverse himself it is.'
Fingleton was an outstanding opening batsman with a reputation for fearlessness against the most hostile and dangerous opening attacks. He faced up to England's feared 'Bodyline' bowlers, and became the first batsman in history to score four successive Test centuries.
Later he gained a reputation as possibly Australia's greatest cricket writer, with his work syndicated throughout Australia and overseas. He also moved in the corridors of power as a political journalist, and was on intimate terms with several prime ministers. He was the author of a number of authoritative books, including Cricket Crisis and Brightly Fades the Don.
Fingleton led a varied and at times turbulent life. Married to the daughter of noted feminist Jessie Street, over several decades he was involved in an on-again, off-again feud with one-time teammate Sir Donald Bradman. Greg Growden's access to previously unpublished correspondence has helped him shed new light on their relationship, and on the rich life of a witty, evocative, complex and altogether unforgettable Australian.
Greg Growden is a senior journalist with the Sydney Morning Herald. He has published a number of books on Rugby Union but his biography of Fleetwood-Smith, The Wayward Genius (ABC Books) is very highly regarded.
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- Publication date:
06 Aug 2009
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"The result is a rounded portrait of a great man, perhaps the greatest player-writer of them all." — ACS Journal