Saturday, 13 February 2010

Another anniversary

Amongst the myriad of cricket books available at your local retailer, there is one that is missing - a definitive account of the rebel tour to apartheid South Africa in 1990.

The closest we have come was last year's The Rebel Tours: Cricket's Crisis of Conscience by Peter May, but that seemed mostly notable for the name of its author.

I was reminded of this cricket book-sized gap in my bookcase when reading Martin Williamson's excellent introduction to the subject on Cricinfo - twenty years since Mike Gatting was pelted by bottles in Pietermaritzburg, twenty years since Nelson Mandela was released.

Just what were the rebel tourists thinking? "The scene was a lot different to the one that was painted to us," said Matthew Maynard afterwards. What? They're saying they didn't know?

Apparently Gatting (who, let us not forget, currently revels in the title of 'Managing Director of Cricket Partnerships' for the ECB) has never spoken in detail about the tour. Surely he should wait no longer.

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