Richie Benaud's blue suede shoes

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August 1961. Old Trafford, Manchester. The three previous Tests of the series: a draw, a win for Australia, a win for England. A wonderful snapshot of a game on cusp, with everything to play for. Watching on, an entire nation sits on tenterhooks as England, led by Peter May, seem on the verge of victory. Yet, somehow, they manage to throw it all away. Australia, led by their charismatic skipper Richie Benaud, storm to victory. The difference between May and Benaud is highlighted the evening before when Benaud, dashing and free-thinking, strolled out to inspect the wicket wearing a pair of blue suede shoes. Such sartorial boldness would have been unthinkable from his opposite number known for sporting a sharp blazer and cravat. This book marks a vivid recreation of five days of sharply fluctuating fortunes and weaves the narrative of the match into a broader tapestry of social change in the 60s.