Arlott, Swanton and the Soul of English Cricket
by Stephen Fay , David Kynaston
Editor: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
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A fascinating account of how the BBC’s two broadcasters clashed over the soul of English cricket during a time of great social change for over a quarter of a century after World War II, as the BBC tightened its grip on national consciousness, two of England’s most famous voices were commentators on cricket gamesJohn Arlott and EW(‘Jim’) Swanton transformed the nation’s summer broadcasting game into a national institutionFor any cricket fan in their 50s or older, the mere mention of their name immediately evokes a flood of memories.Swanton, was born into a middle-class, privately educated family; Arlott was the son of a class council employee, educated in state schools until he left at the age of sixteenBecause of their strong personality and unique voice – Swanton to sharpness and superior class, Arlott with his Hampshire burr – each had followers in the post-war years, when England’s class system had a split for almost everyoneA few minutes after the start of a conversation, it would be possible to identify the loudspeaker as an Arlott or a Swanton manArlott and Swanton never learned to love each other, but characterised both the contrasting aspects of the post-war period in Britain and the way and the game he loved was to changeWhile England has moved from a base class to a more egalitarian society, nothing has remained the same – including professional cricket.Wise, lively and rich in social and sports history, Arlott, Swanton and Cricket’s Soul of English shows how these two men fought to save the soul of the game as it entered a new era
Stephen Fay , David Kynaston – Arlott, Swanton and the Soul of English Cricket – Free
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