'The year's best cricket book' Daily Telegraph 'Well researched and
engagingly written, this exemplary work reveals a hidden
history...superbly told story' Sunday Times 'Easily the cricket
book of the year, of the century...It extends the possibility of
cricket-writing-as-literature' Suresh Menon, The Hindu It is
arguably the most famous photograph in the history of cricket. In
George Beldam's picture, Victor Trumper is caught in mid stroke,
the personification of cricketing grace, skill and power, about to
hit the ball long and hard. Yet this image, 'Jumping Out', is
important not only because of who it depicts, but also what it
illustrates about the changing nature of the game and how it has
been seen. Now, in Gideon Haigh's brilliant new book, Stroke of
Genius, we learn not only about the man in the picture but also the
iconography of Trumper's powerful position in cricket's mythology.
For many, Australian batsman Trumper was the greatest ever. Neville
Cardus wrote: 'I have never yet met a cricketer who, having seen
and played with Victor Trumper, did not describe him without doubt
or hesitation as the most accomplished of all batsmen of his
acquaintance.' Like Lionel Messi or Roger Federer today, he defied
the obvious bounds of affiliation. Unlike the current generation of
sporting stars, however, there were no memoirs or papers, very few
interviews, no action footage - even his date of birth is a matter
of debate and conjecture. What isn't in doubt, though, is the
impact he had on the game and on his nation. Haigh reveals how
Trumper, and 'Jumping Out', helped to change cricket from the
Victorian era of static imagery to something much more dynamic,
modern and compelling. As such, Trumper helped not only transform
cricket but even the way his country viewed itself.
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