Gentlemen & Players
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Gentlemen & Players : The Death of Amateurism in Cricket

2.87 (8 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Amateurs versus professionals - a social history and memoir of English cricket from 1953 to 1963.The inaugural Gentlemen v. Players first-class cricket match was played in 1806, subsequently becoming an annual fixture at Lord's between teams consisting of amateurs (the Gentlemen) and professionals (the Players). The key difference between the amateur and the professional, however, was much more than the obvious one of remuneration. The division was shaped by English class structure, the amateur, who received expenses, being perceived as occupying a higher station in life than the wage-earning professional. The great Yorkshire player Len Hutton, for example, was told he would have to go amateur if he wanted to captain England.GENTLEMEN & PLAYERS focuses on the final ten years of amateurism and the Gentlemen v. Players fixture, starting with Charles Williams' own presence in the (amateur) Oxbridge teams that included future England captains such as Peter May, Colin Cowdrey and M.J.K. Smith, and concluding with the abolition of amateurism in 1962 when all first-class players became professional. The amateur innings was duly declared closed.Charles Williams, the author of a richly acclaimed biography of Donald Bradman, has penned a vivid social-history-cum-memoir that reveals an attempt to recreate a Golden Age in post-war Britain, one whose expiry exactly coincided with the beginnings of top-class one-day cricket and a cricket revolution.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 132 x 196 x 17mm | 220g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • WEIDENFELD & NICOLSON
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0753829274
  • 9780753829271
  • 857,237

Review quote

A book about amateur versus professional cricketers is also a social history of the country, so Williams' amusing book, focusing on the final 10 years of the amateur game, is revealing not only about cricket but also about the people and communities who play it. * THE LADY *show more

About Charles Williams

Charles Williams, Lord Williams of Elvel, former industrialist and banker and now a Labour peer, was appointed to a life peerage in 1985. He served on the Opposition front bench from 1986 onwards and was elected Opposition Deputy Leader in 1989. He is one of Britain's most distinguished biographers.show more

Back cover copy

The inaugural Gentlemen v. Players first-class cricket match was played in 1806, subsequently becoming an annual fixture at Lord's between teams consisting of amateurs (the Gentlemen) and professionals (the Players). The key difference between the amateur and the professional, however, was much more than the obvious one of remuneration and went to the very heart of English class structure. The great Yorkshire player, Len Hutton, for example, was told he would have to go amateur if he wanted to captain England. Gentlemen and Players focuses on the final ten years of amateurism, starting with Charles Williams' own presence in the (amateur) Oxbridge teams that included future England captains such as Peter May, Colin Cowdrey and M.J.K. Smith and concluding with the abolition of amateurism in 1962 when all first-class players became professional. The amateur innings was duly declared closed and a cricketing revolution was underway.show more

Rating details

8 ratings
2.87 out of 5 stars
5 0% (0)
4 12% (1)
3 62% (5)
2 25% (2)
1 0% (0)
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