Reissue of Douglas Jardine's own book on the controversial Ashes series of 1932/33 - the Bodyline series - with an introduction by Mike Brearley and a memoir of her father by Jardine's daughter Fianach.
Published to coincide with the arrival in England of the Australian cricketers for the Ashes series of 2005, this is a balanced account of the England cricket team's tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1932/33 when the Ashes were regained in the most controversial circumstances. England's captain for the tour Douglas Jardine, first developed and then executed a plan to reduce the threat from Australia's most prolific batsman Don Bradman who, on his first tour of England in 1930, had scored an aggregate of 973 runs in five Tests. Employing his quickest bowlers to bowl what Jardine had termed 'leg theory' but what the media dubbed 'bodyline' he succeeded in his quest and returned to England triumphant. Jardine's strategy attracted severe criticism as the tour was played out and that criticism continued both in England and Australia long after the Tourists had returned. Jardine's account of his and the team's achievements is replete with an understatement that reflects the man. Challenging but modest, Jardine was a perfect fit for the maxim 'cometh the hour cometh the man'. After the bodyline series had ended, Jardine had few friends in the world of cricket but his achievements are now seen by some in an altogether different light. His complete rehabilitation cannot be far away.
Douglas Jardine was England cricket captain in fifteen Test matches of which nine were won, five were drawn and one lost. Most contemporary opinion was that his tenure of office was too short to permit an objective analysis of his skills as captain. After England's tour of India in 1933/34 Jardine retired from cricket and pursued a business career that was largely unfulfilling. He died in 1958 aged 57. Jardine's daughter, Fianach, is a priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church.