By Arthur Mailey

Arthur Mailey's vintage autobiography, first released in 1958, is a wry and interesting account by way of a skilled cricketer from a truly various era—full of zest, diversified, fast, moving the purpose of assault, occasionally extravagant, often fabulous and regularly considerate. For 50 years, Arthur Mailey performed and watched top quality cricket. in the course of his attempt occupation he performed opposed to some of the greats, and on one impressive celebration brushed aside his idol, Victor Trumper, to his quick remorse: "I felt like a boy who had killed a dove." it is a reminder of the dignity days of cricket—amateurs and execs, Bradman, Noble, and Trumper batting, and Barnes, O'Reilly, and Fleetwood-Smith with the ball.

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My thoughts were interrupted by a vigorous thumping on the back gate. I looked out of the washhouse-bathroomwoodshed-workshop window and saw that it was the milkman who was kicking up the row. ’ he roared ‘—yer didn’t leave the can out. I can’t wait around here all day. ’ On that morning I wouldn’t have cared whether he poured the milk in the garbage tin or all over me. I didn’t belong to this world. I was playing against the great Victor Trumper. Let the milk take care of itself. I kept looking at the clock.

He might get out before I come on. Or I mightn’t get to bowl at all—after all, I can’t put myself on. Wonder what Trumper’s doing this very minute . . bet he’s not ironing his flannels. Sends them to the laundry, I suppose. He’s probably got two sets of flannels anyway. Perhaps he’s at breakfast, perhaps he’s eating bacon and eggs. Wonder if he knows I’m playing against him? Don’t suppose he’s ever heard of me. Wouldn’t worry him anyhow, I shouldn’t think. Gosh, what a long morning! Think I’ll 22 10 for 66 and All That 21/7/08 5:22 PM Page 23 OPPOSING MY HERO dig the garden.

It was in the early summer of 1920 that I took my next step forward. I had risen to the rank of water meter cleaner, a job I feel was sponsored by a cricket-loving foreman, who regarded a complimentary ticket to the Sydney Cricket Ground a just reward for one who could close his eyes to the deficiencies of meter cleaners. C. team skippered by Johnny Douglas had just arrived in Australia and was cleaning up the southern states. The scene shifts to a coolabah tree near a suburban fowlhouse. I sat under its branches cleaning a water meter.

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