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by Venky

047

“Archie Jackson The Keats Of Cricket” is a surreal tribute by the indefatigable David Frith to a preternatural cricketing talent whose budding career was tragically nipped. Archie Jackson, a contemporary of Sir Donald Bradman was all of 23 years old, when he breathed his last, having been stricken by a virulent bout of Tuberculosis. A prodigy with the bat, he had signaled his intentions with a century on debut against the ‘Old Enemy’, a mere four years ago.

David Frith, with his usual twin pronged approach of method and meticulousness, vividly explores the emergence, exploits and ultimately the end of Archie Jackson’s professional and personal life. Employing a judicious blend of pathos and facts, Frith brings to life the optimistic, lovable and gentlemanly personality of Archie Jackson to life. Deft leg-side batting and regal cover drives compete with acts of magnanimity and tales of astounding humility.

In an eminently nostalgic forward, the late tearaway English paceman and the scourge of the Aussies in the infamous ‘Bodyline’ series Harold Larwood poignantly recalls his brief but memorable battles with Archie Jackson. He concludes by emphatically exclaiming that he for one could never forget the Australian master.

Nor shall any one who has read this beautiful little gem by David Frith!

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