In leading an England cricket team to India in 1933–34, Douglas Jardine was returning to the country of his birth. The touring party was not strong but neither was the opposition and the tourists found themselves playing against the same players on several occasions.
Nevertheless the three Test matches were keenly contested and there were some notable individual performances. England won two of the Tests to take the series. The tour also involved many grand social events and Jardine and his players enjoyed them to the full.
Tim Heald’s account of the tour evokes the period. ‘British’ India was drawing to a close and organised cricket was still very much for the upper classes although some top class players were starting to emerge. Heald has described the tour and the scene vividly and with some humour. This is an excellent book that will sit easily among others on the subject and will be enjoyed by all cricket fans.
After the bodyline series in Australia, Jardine had few friends in the world of cricket but his achievements are now seen by many in an altogether different light. After the tour of India, Douglas Jardine retired from cricket and pursued a business career that was largely unfulfilling. He died in 1958 aged 57.
Douglas Jardine was one of the most controversial cricketers of his time. Fiercely competitive, he achieved life long notoriety during the Ashes series of 1932–33, the ‘Bodyline’ series, which England won 4–1. As England captain, Jardine adopted bowling tactics which shook cricket’s establishment to the core and led to a change in the laws. After a series in England against West Indies, Jardine accepted an invitation to take a team to India for a series of three Test matches and other first class games. The tour signalled the end of Jardine’s career. The acclaimed biography - Douglas Jardine - Spartan Cricketer by Christopher Douglas is published by Methuen.
Tim Heald has numerous books to his credit, many on cricket. He lives in Cornwall where he is a loyal supporter of Fowey Cricket Club.