by David Potter

Published by:
Pitch Publishing
A2 Yeoman Gate, Yeoman Way,
Worthing, Sussex BN13 3QZ


Pages: 288

MRP: £19.99

Copies can be bought from


At first sight, a scoreline of 3-0 to England over South Africa might not appear much on which to base a book but the South African tour of England in 1960 was memorable both on and off the field, and as such is worthy of an entire book.

David Potter’s interest in cricket began as an eleven-year-old around this time. Given some of the events of the 1960 tour, it is easy to see why it had such an impression on the author. The South African tour of 1970 – which ultimately did not take place – may be the more noteworthy and on which more has been written but this tour, a decade earlier, had many memorable moments.

Apartheid had been in the news, especially after the Sharpeville massacre shortly before the tour became and David details the events as well as his childhood reminiscences and observations of this and other tour moments throughout the book in an easy style. The 1960 tour saw anti-Apartheid protests which are naturally mentioned within the book.

The cricket was mostly memorable for the no-balling of the South African quick bowler, Geoff Griffin, for throwing. Allegations and innuendo had dogged the unfortunate bowler throughout the tour but its crescendo was reached during a hastily-arranged exhibition match immediately following the denouement of the Lord’s Test in which South Africa had been soundly beaten. Ironically, Griffin had taken a hat-trick during the Test, only of only South African bowlers to achieve the feat against all Test opposition. The bowler comes over well as a human being in these trying circumstances which saw him used thereafter only to bat and field.

There are some interesting nuggets in the book about South African cricket and how Griffin went through remedial help from Alf Gover in an attempt to stop the possibility of his being no-balled. Alas, it was not to be and his two-Test career lasted just under three weeks.

The previous books which I have read and reviewed recently have taken cricket alongside worldwide and national events in the countries on which the subjects are based, and both benefited from this historical aspect. The Troubled Tour, the third which I have read recently, is similar. David also voices his own thoughts, and comments upon life’s comparisons in 1960 and nowadays.

Of those who toured in 1960, there is an interesting chapter at the end of the book which details what happened to the South African tourists after the tour, and after their cricketing careers had ended. Interesting could also describe many of the cricketers themselves. There is also an ample statistical section to conclude the book.