Outside the Tent: Free Enterprise in Australian Cricket, 1912–1987


By Stephen Musk

In the years before the Great War, the Australian Board of Control for International Cricket seized control of the country’s Test cricket and domestic game. It proved a harsh master and many players chafed under its yoke.

They found two ways of escaping its authority and indulging in what could be termed ‘free enterprise.’ One was to participate in unofficial international tours and the other was to forsake Australia and emigrate to England to take up careers as professionals.

Unsurprisingly, the Board took an extremely dim view of what they regarded as ‘their’ players taking independent action. This book describes in some depth the instances of ‘free enterprise’ which occurred between 1912 and 1987, and details heavy-handed attempts to squash such independence.

In doing so, it seeks to draw attention to some unjustly forgotten tours, including to North America, India and South Africa, and provides new information regarding the phenomenon of overseas professionals in the English game.