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Crossing the Line: How Australian Cricket Lost its Way

Gideon Haigh

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The Slattery Media Group (AFL Publishing)
05 October 2018
Sports & outdoor recreation; Cricket
"I'm not proud of what's happened. Y'know, it's not within the spirit of the game." Steve Smith was not to know it at Cape Town on 24 March 2018, but he was addressing his last press conference as the Australian cricket captain. By the next morning, he would be swept from office by a tsunami of public indignation that included the prime minister.


In a unique admission, Smith confessed to condoning a policy of sandpapering the cricket ball in a Test against South Africa. Smith, the instigator David Warner, and their agent Cameron Bancroft, returned home to disgrace and lengthy bans.

The crisis plunged Australian cricket into a bout of unprecedented soul searching, with Cricket Australia yielding to demands for reviews of the cricket team and of itself to restore confidence in their 'culture'.

In Crossing the Line, Gideon Haigh conducts his own cultural review - "less official and far cheaper, but genuinely independent". Studying the cricket team across a decade of radical change, he finds an accident waiting to happen and a system struggling to cope with self-created challenges, both on the field and in the boardroom. And he wonders: is there any longer "a spirit of the game"?

Crossing the Line is the first instalment in Slattery Media Group's Sports Shorts collection, a new series of sports essays published as small-format books. Sports Shorts has been created as a home for ambitious, lively and engaging writing and journalism on sport - work of a scale and scope not suited to the confines of day-to-day journalism.

Every instalment will illuminate or entertain, all the while fitting into your back pocket on the way to the game.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gideon Haigh has been a journalist for 35 years. Crossing the Line is his 37th book. He was born in London, grew up in Geelong and now lives in Melbourne, from where he writes about cricket for The Australian, The Times and Cricketer.
By:   Gideon Haigh
Imprint:   The Slattery Media Group (AFL Publishing)
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 178mm,  Width: 110mm,  Spine: 1mm
ISBN:   9781921778940
ISBN 10:   1921778946
Series:   Sports Shorts
Pages:   176
Publication Date:   05 October 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Reviews for Crossing the Line: How Australian Cricket Lost its Way

Crossing the Line is a devastating account of the effects of the professionalisation of cricket, providing context and crticial understanding to the crisis of Cape Town. - Mike Atherton


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