Australian Cricket Scandals is a crafted collection of Ken Piesse’s previously published writings on the ball tampering, bets, bribes and blow ups that have rocked the world of cricket.
All the furores, all the scandal: Black Saturday in Cape Town when Steve Smith and David Warner cheated; Shane Warne and the throwing of a Test match; World Series walk-outs; Greg Chappell’s five minutes of infamy; Dennis Lillee infamous bet against Australia; A captain flattens his chairman of selectors in a 20-minute Sydney brawl; The Ian Meckiff conspiracy; The mysterious non-selections of Dean Jones and Brad Hodge; Don Bradman on strike and much, much more.
Most recently it was Sandpaper Saturday in Cape Town in the autumn of 2018, our adventure in paradise undermined by just one stunning misjudgment, still reverberating around the cricketing world — a bigger scandal than the underarm, match fixing, even Warnie popping the wrong pills. The booing and jeering for Australia’s captain Steve Smith at Newlands as he walked in and out was loud and prolonged. It came from every direction, not only those in the cheap seats. By so flagrantly abusing the spirit of cricket, Smith and the others discredited themselves, the game and 450 other Australian Test players who’d so proudly worn the baggy green cap.
Ken Piesse is Australian cricket’s master storyteller, an author of more than 50 cricket books including Cricket’s Colosseum (2003), the first 125 years of Test cricket at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and most recently Heroes of the Hour (2017) and Pep, the story of Cec Pepper the best cricketer never to represent Australia (2018).