Bill Alley's Standing the Test of Time

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Standing the Test of Time

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Bill Alley    £16.95 hardback,   ISBN 1 901746 06 2

Originally suppressed by the Test and County Cricket Board in 1985, Standing the Test of Time is the controversial autobiography of respected Test umpire and former Somerset cricket legend Bill Alley, revised and updated to include recent developments in the world game.
Born into poverty in the small town of Brooklyn, New South Wales, in 1919, Alley’s ability at cricket saw him rise rapidly through the ranks of local and grade cricket, creating records which still survive today. He made his debut for New South Wales when normal cricket resumed after the Second World War and was tipped by no less an authority than the great Don Bradman for future international honours. However, with his name linked as a possible for Bradman’s 1948 ‘Invincibles’ tour to England, he suffered a series a personal tragedies, including the death of his first wife in childbirth, which made him decide to take one of the many offers he had been made from the Lancashire leagues in England, becoming an outcast in his own country in the process. After nine years of spectacular success with Colne and Blackpool, Alley was offered a contract by Somerset at the age of 38, beginning a 12-season county career of legendary achievement. In 1961 he became the last player to score more than 3,000 runs in an English season; the following year he narrowly missed out on the 2,000 run/100 wicket double, and, with the advent of the Gillette Cup, won a man of the match award on no fewer than three occasions. After his unceremonious sacking by Somerset he began a new career as a first class umpire, eventually graduating to the international panel where he officiated in ten Tests over eight years, some of which were shrouded in controversy. In his 80th year and still living in Taunton in his adopted county of Somerset, Standing the Test of Time is Bill Alley’s own candid account of his remarkable career in cricket.

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