Beyond the Pavilion Reflections on a Life in Cricket
by Barry Knight with Andrew Leeming

Published by:
Quiller Publishing,
The Hill, Merrywalks,
Stroud, Gloucestershire GL5 4E

Contact: + 44 1453 847823


Pages: 255

MRP: £18.99


Barry Knight was a familiar name in the 1960s: to me, someone whose name was regularly mentioned but someone, I have to admit, I did not know that much about. His book, Beyond the Pavilion, written with Andrew Leeming, is therefore very welcome.

It came as some surprise to learn that he only played 29 Tests. The testimonials at the beginning of the book suggest that this comparatively small number should have been more. Having read a book recently which included the d'Oliveira affair in 1968, I was especially fascinated to read of Barry's views who was in fact the first replacement for Tom Cartwright for the tour to South Africa which never took place. Barry had to decline the invitation due to an injury after which Basil d'Oliveira was selected. It makes for interesting reading in this book.

Barry's book recounts his playing and coaching experiences. In a way, Barry comes over as a modest man - there are a good number of photographs but we have to wait until the fourteenth page to see a photo of Knight the bowler (and even that photo had a story behind it): there are actually very few photos of Barry in action - but his views are knowledgeable and firm.

Having moved to Australia and started a successful coaching business, it came as another surprise to read that he coached the Packer family and knew and the man who changed cricket in the 1970s.

Readers will be regaled by stories about, amongst others, Fred Trueman and W.G.Grace. No, Barry is not that old to have known the great doctor but he was coached by an Essex player, Walter Mead, then in his 80s, who did.

Barry writes knowledgeably, as might be expected, about the game and its changes and my impression of his memoirs is one of a player with a shrewd and deep understanding of the game. There are many exciting recollections such as bowling with some fruit in a hotel corridor with one of Australia's premier fast bowlers, Ray Lindwall, and his experiences of and with Sir Garfield Sobers, who wrote the foreword to the book. Barry's work with Allan Border is also fascinating.

There is a very good statistical section to conclude the book. I can wholeheartedly recommend Beyond the Pavilion from which I learned so much about this fine England, Essex and Leicestershire all-rounder.