Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Glimpse of the Past: Sydney 1932, and after and before...

(Click on the photographs to enlarge).

Members Stand packed for Test, 2-7 December 1932

Some interesting things to note about the above photograph:
-    The fact that even going to watch the cricket, men wore suits and ties.
-    Most men wore hats.  Some of those not wearing them are holding them or have them on the ground.
-    Note that the males at the front are sitting on their newspapers.
-    I am unaware as to whether this is a grassed area in the Members Stand or in front of the Stand, or whether there was tiered seating in 1932.  Certainly the front few rows are on the grass.
-    Australia was still badly affected by the depression in 1932 - refer the Bytes articles on Jack Lang at
and subseqent.
-    The English cricket team, captained by Douglas Jardine, toured Australia for the 1932-1933 Ashes season.  The series became known as the infamous Bodyline series, named after the bowling tactic devised to counter the batting prowess of Don Bradman.
-    The first match of the series was played in Sydney between 2 and 7 December 932.  England won easily, with Bradman absent by reason of illness.  Jardine did not believe it and accredited Bradman's absence to a nervous breakdown due to the English bowling tactics.   McCabe provided Australia's only significant resistance with the bat, staying at the crease for 4 hours for 187 not out.  He remained undeterred by bowling directed at his upper body, causing historian David Firth to write that it was "among the most stirring innings Test cricket has ever produced".  Larwood claimed ten match wickets. Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi', the Nawab of Pataudi, a Punjabi and later capatin of the Indian cricket team, scored a century (102) on his Test debut.  It was to be his sole Test century, being dropped after the second Test due to his dissent against Bodyline tactics.  He did not play again on that tour.  When he refused to move to a leg-side fielding position, Jardine is said to have commented "I see his highness is a conscientious objector".
-    There are at least 4 persons smoking in the photgraph, 2 with cigars.  There were no restrictions on where people could smoke back then.
-    Although at the turn of the century most males had facial hair, as mentioned in the post on Hitler's moustache, thirty years later nearly every male was cleanshaven.
-    Not a beer, beer wench or barmy army member in sight; no flags; no signs; no giant hands with a finger pointing upright with No 1 written on it; no face paint or fright wigs; no streakers. 
Times have changed.  Compare the pic below with a photograph which follows it, taken at the Sydney Cricket Ground between 1895 and 1902, with the Members Stand in the background...

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