Douglas Robert Jardine (23 October 1900 – 18 June 1958) was a
cricketer who played 22 Test matches for England, captaining the side
in 15 of those matches between 1931 and 1934. A right-handed batsman,
he is best known for captaining the English team during the 1932–33
Ashes tour of Australia. During that series, England employed
"Bodyline" tactics against the Australian batsmen, wherein bowlers
pitched the ball short on the line of leg stump to rise towards the
bodies of the batsmen in a manner that most contemporary players and
critics viewed as intimidatory and physically dangerous. Jardine was
the person responsible for the implementation of Bodyline. A
controversial figure among cricketers, he was well known for his
dislike of Australian players and crowds and was unpopular in
Australia, particularly for his manner and especially after the
Bodyline tour. Many who played under his leadership regarded him as an
excellent captain; not all regarded him as good at managing people. He
was also famous in cricket circles for wearing a multi-coloured
After establishing an early reputation as a prolific schoolboy
batsman, Jardine played cricket for Winchester College, attended the
University of Oxford, playing for its cricket team, and played for
Surrey County Cricket Club
Surrey County Cricket Club as an amateur. He developed a defensive
method of batting which was unusual for an amateur, receiving
occasional criticism for negative batting. Despite this, Jardine was
selected in Test matches for the first time in 1928, and went on to
play with some success in the Test series in Australia in 1928–29.
Following this tour, his business commitments prevented him from
playing as much cricket. However, in 1931, he was asked to captain
England in a Test against New Zealand. Although there were some
initial misgivings about his captaincy, Jardine led England in the
next three cricket seasons and on two overseas tours, one of which was
the Australian tour of 1932–33. Of his 15 Tests as captain, he won
nine, lost one and drew five. He retired from all first-class cricket
in 1934 following a tour to India.
Although Jardine was a qualified solicitor he did not work much in
law, choosing instead to devote most of his working life to banking
and, later on, journalism. He joined the Territorial Army in the
Second World War and spent most of it posted in India. After the war,
he worked as company secretary at a paper manufacturer and also
returned to journalism. While on a business trip in 1957, he became
ill with what proved to be lung cancer and died, aged 57, in 1958.
1 Early life
2 First-class career
2.1 Oxford University
2.2 County cricketer
2.3 Test cricketer
2.4 First tour to Australia
3 England captain
3.1 Appointment as captain
3.2 Planning for the 1932–33 tour
4.1 Beginning of the tour
4.2 Test matches
4.3 Aftermath and 1933 season
5 Style and personality
6 Later life
6.1 Career after cricket
6.2 Career in the Second World War
6.3 Final years
11 External links
Douglas Jardine was born on 23 October 1900 in Bombay, British India,
to Scottish parents, Malcolm Jardine—a former first-class cricketer
who became a barrister—and Alison Moir. At the age of nine, he
was sent to
St Andrews in Scotland to stay with his mother's sister.
He attended Horris Hill School, near Newbury, Berkshire, from May
1910. There, Jardine was moderately successful academically, and
from 1912, he played cricket for the school first eleven, enjoying
success as a bowler and as a batsman. He led the team in his final
year, and the team were unbeaten under his captaincy. As a
schoolboy, Jardine was influenced by the writing of former England
C. B. Fry
C. B. Fry on batting technique, which contradicted the advice
of his coach at Horris Hill. The coach disapproved of Jardine's
batting methods, but Jardine did not back down and quoted a book by
Fry to support his viewpoint.
In 1914, Jardine entered Winchester College. At the time, life at
Winchester was arduous and austere; discipline was harsh. Sport and
exercise were vital parts of the school day. In Jardine's time,
preparing the pupils for war was also important. According to
Jardine's biographer, Christopher Douglas, the pupils were "taught to
be honest, impervious to physical pain, uncomplaining and
civilised." All pupils were required to be academically competent
and Jardine was able to get along without exhibiting brilliance;
successful sportsmen, on the other hand, were revered. Jardine
enjoyed a slightly better position than some pupils, already
possessing a reputation as a cricketer and excelling at other sports;
he represented the school at football as a goalkeeper and rackets, and
Winchester College football. But it was at cricket that he
excelled. He was in the first eleven for three years from 1917 and
received coaching from Harry Altham,
Rockley Wilson and Schofield
Haigh, the latter two of whom were distinguished cricketers. In
1919, his final year, Jardine came top of the school batting averages
with 997 runs at an average of 66.46. He also became captain despite
some doubts within the school about his ability to unify the team.
Under Jardine, Winchester won their annual match against Eton College
in 1919, a fixture in which Eton usually held the upper hand.
Jardine's batting (35 and 89 in the match) and captaincy were key
factors in his side's first victory over Eton for 12 years. After his
retirement from cricket, he named his 89 in that match as his
favourite innings. Jardine went on to score 135 not out against Harrow
Jardine's achievements in the season were widely reported in the local
and national press. He played two representative matches, for the best
schoolboy cricketers, at Lord's
Cricket Ground, scored 44, 91, 57 and
55 and won favourable reviews in the press. Wisden, in 1928,
described Jardine at this time as being obviously of a much higher
standard than his contemporaries, particularly in defence and on side
batting. However, he was criticised for being occasionally too
cautious and not using all the batting strokes of which he was
capable—his good batting technique gave the impression that he could
easily score more quickly.
Jardine entered New College, Oxford, in September 1919 at a time when
the university was more crowded than usual due to the arrival of men
whose entrance had been delayed due to the war. He took part in
several sports, representing New College as goalkeeper in matches
between the colleges, and being given a trial for the University
football team, although he was not chosen. He continued to play
rackets and began to play real tennis, making such progress and
showing such promise that he went on to represent the University
successfully and won his Blue. In cricket, Jardine came under
the coaching of
Tom Hayward who influenced his footwork and
defence. Wisden commented in 1928 that Jardine had come with an
excellent reputation, but did not quite achieve the success which was
expected. His batting ability, particularly defensively, remained
In the 1920 season, Jardine made his first-class debut, played eight
first-class matches and scored two fifties. Playing mainly as an
opening batsman, he won his Blue, appearing in the University Match
against Cambridge but fell short of expectations, and continued to
be criticised for over-caution with the bat. In all, he scored 217
runs at an average of 22.64. In the match for Oxford against
Essex, he took six wickets for six runs in a bowling spell of 45
balls, bowling leg breaks, to have bowling figures of six for 28. It
was the only occasion in his career where he took five or more wickets
in an innings.
Playing more confidently and fluently in 1921, Jardine began the
season well, scoring three fifties in his first three first-class
matches. Oxford then played against the Australian touring side which
dominated the season. In the second innings, Jardine scored 96 not out
to save the game but was unable to complete his century before the
game ended. The innings was praised by those who saw it and the
Australians were criticised in the press for not allowing Jardine to
reach his hundred, particularly as the match had been reduced from
three days to two at their request. They had tried to help him
with some easy bowling but the situation was confusing as batsmen's
scores were not displayed on the ground's scoreboard. Some critics
have speculated that this incident led to Jardine's later hatred of
Australians, although Christopher Douglas does not believe this.
David Frith believes that Australian captain Warwick
Armstrong may have addressed sarcastic comments to Jardine but Wisden
blamed Jardine himself for batting too slowly to score a century. The
Australian manager expressed regret that he missed out. This
innings was the highest that had been played to that point in the
season against the Australians, and only one higher score was made
before the first Test. Consequently, Plum Warner, an influential
figure who had recently captained Middlesex, suggested in The
Cricketer magazine that Jardine should play for England in the first
Test, which followed the Oxford match. Warner had been previously
impressed by Jardine. The latter remained in Test contention for a
short time, but was not selected. In the meantime, he scored his
maiden first-class hundred against The Army and another followed
against Sussex. Both innings were cautious, with defence his main
priority for much of the innings, but he failed in the match against
Cambridge. Jardine played for Surrey, for whom he was qualified,
in the remainder of the season. He replaced the injured
Jack Hobbs as
an opening batsman before dropping down to number five in the order.
In a situation of great pressure, Jardine scored a vital 55 in a vital
match against reigning County Champions Middlesex, although Surrey
lost the game. Jardine finished the season with 1,015 runs at an
average of 39.03, although critics still did not believe his
potential had been fulfilled.
Jardine missed most of the 1922 season owing to a serious knee injury;
he played only four matches at a time when he was expected to make a
big impression. He missed the Cambridge match and was unable to
play for Surrey that season. Even so, in 1922 he was selected by
The Isis as one of its men of the year. After some problems with
his troublesome knee, Jardine returned to cricket by May of the 1923
season. He was not given the Oxford captaincy in his final year, which
has led to later speculation that his manner and unfriendliness was
held against him. However, his injury and the availability of other
deserving candidates may have provided some of the
explanation. Jardine gradually found his batting form, and
contributed to Oxford's only win over Cambridge in the decade.
During one innings of another match, he received criticism for using
his pads to stop the ball from hitting the wickets: this was within
the laws of the game but was controversial and seen by critics to be
against the spirit of the game. Christopher Douglas traces Jardine's
hostility towards the press and critics to this incident. He also
received criticism for his slow batting for Oxford, again being
singled out due to his known ability to play attacking shots. Partly
this was because Jardine held a responsible position, the team often
reliant on his success. The complaints were a manifestation of wider
criticism of young amateur batting at the time for its lack of
enterprise, as commentators began to hark back to the "golden age"
before the war. Jardine left Oxford in 1923 having scored a total
of 1,381 runs and was awarded a fourth class degree in modern
When Jardine went on to play for Surrey that season, a strong batting
side, he played with more freedom. Batting at number five, he had to
adapt his style depending on the match situation. He was successful,
playing long defensive innings or sacrificing his innings in an
attempt to hit quick runs. His captain
Percy Fender retained him in
the role for the rest of the season. He scored his first century for
Surrey against Yorkshire and was awarded his County Cap, making 916
runs at an average of 38.16 in the whole season.
Once Jardine left Oxford, he began to qualify as a solicitor while
still playing for Surrey. He made steady progress over the next three
seasons but was overshadowed by other amateur batsmen. His
contemporaries at Oxford and Cambridge attracted more attention in the
press, as did the next generation of amateur batsmen. He was
appointed vice-captain to Fender for the 1924 season. Several
professionals, such as Jack Hobbs, could have been made captain, but
Jardine was preferred as an amateur. In that season, Jardine was
selected for the
Gentlemen v Players match for the first time and came
third in the Surrey averages. In all first-class matches, he scored
1,249 runs at an average of 40.29. In the following season,
Jardine was less successful, scoring fewer runs at a lower average and
with a highest score of 87 (1,020 runs at 30.90). Suggestions made
in the press that Jardine should captain the Gentlemen with a view
towards the future of the England Test team, were ignored. In the
event, owing to an injury sustained playing village cricket, he was
unable to appear in the
Gentlemen v Players match at Lord's. In
1926, Jardine had his most successful season to date, with 1,473 runs
(average 46.03), although he was again overshadowed by other
players and by the attention given to the Ashes series being played.
Towards the end of the season, his batting became more attractive and
his rate of scoring increased as he began to play more shots. His
assurance and judgement against all bowling, even international
bowlers, increased and he scored 538 runs in his final ten
In 1927, Jardine achieved his highest average in a season, scoring
1,002 runs and averaging 91.09 in a very wet summer which led to
difficult wickets to bat on. Wisden named him as one of its
Cricketers of the Year, commenting that he had improved his style and
footwork. That season, he only played 11 matches due to work
commitments as a clerk with Barings Bank, for whom he had worked since
qualifying as a solicitor. Despite his lack of practice, he
scored hundreds in his first three matches and came top of the Surrey
batting averages. He scored a century in the Gentlemen v Players
match, which impressed influential observers at Lord's, and
represented England in a trial match against The Rest. In this latter
Percy Chapman withdrew at the last minute, Jardine took
over the captaincy, earning praise in the press for his
performance. By this stage, he was considered a certainty to tour
Australia the following winter.
Jardine's batting performance in 1928 was similar to that from the
previous season. He played 14 matches, scoring 1,133 runs at an
average of 87.15. He was successful in high-profile matches,
scoring 193 for Gentlemen at the Oval, where the crowd had booed his
slow start (at one stage, he took half an hour to score two runs) but
later cheered him as his last fifty runs were scored in half an
hour. For the same team at Lord's, he scored 86 and 40. He
captained The Rest against England in a Test trial and made the
highest score in each innings, scoring 74 not out in the fourth
innings to help his team to draw the game on a difficult pitch,
against international bowlers
Maurice Tate and Harold Larwood.
Immediately after this match, Jardine made his Test debut against the
West Indies who were touring England that season. This was West
Indies' first ever Test match. The team possessed several fast bowlers
who had enjoyed some success on the tour of England. Many batsmen only
played them with difficulty, particularly on the occasional fast-paced
pitch, but Jardine played them confidently. Jardine played in the
first two Tests, both of which were won by England by an innings, but
missed the third for unknown reasons (The Times reported that Jardine
was unable to accept the selectors' invitation). He scored 22 on
his debut, but was more successful in the second Test. He scored
83: when he had scored 26, he hit his wicket when setting off for
a run, but was given not out. At the time, a batsman was not out if he
had completed his shot and was setting off for a run; the West
Learie Constantine believed that Jardine was only
given not out because he told the umpire his shot was complete.
Later, while he was batting with Tate, a player with whom he did not
have a good relationship, Jardine was run out when Tate refused to go
for a run.
First tour to Australia
The England side emerging onto the field during the first Test at
Brisbane in 1928–29. Jardine is third from the right.
Jardine was selected to tour Australia with the M.C.C. team in
1928–29 as part of a very strong batting side, playing in all
five Test matches and scoring 341 runs at an average of 42.62. In
all first-class matches, he scored 1,168 runs (average 64.88). He
was also on the five-man selection committee for the tour, which chose
teams to play in specific games but had not chosen the touring
party. Wisden judged that he had been as great a success as had
been expected and impressed everyone with the strength of his
defensive shots and his play on the back foot. It said that he played
some delightful innings. Percy Fender, covering the tour as a
journalist, believed that Jardine never had the chance to play a
normal innings in the Test, having to provide the stability to the
batting, and often seeming to come out to bat in a crisis.
Jardine was the centre of attention at the start of the tour. He began
the tour with three consecutive hundreds and was seen as one of the
main English threats. In his first hundred, the crowd engaged in
some good-natured joking at Jardine's expense, but he was jeered by
the crowd in his second hundred for batting too slowly. His third
hundred was described by Bradman as one of the finest exhibitions of
strokeplay that he had seen; Jardine accelerated after another slow
start, during which he was again barracked, to play some excellent
shots. The crowds took an increasing dislike to him, partially for
his success with the bat, but mainly for his superior attitude and
bearing, his awkward fielding, and particularly his choice of
headwear. His first public action in
South Australia was to take
out the members of the South Australian team who had been to Oxford or
Cambridge Universities. Then, he wore a Harlequin cap, given to people
who played good cricket at Oxford. It was not unusual for Oxford
and Cambridge cricketers to wear similar caps while batting, as both
Jardine and M.C.C. captain
Percy Chapman did so on this tour, although
it was slightly unorthodox to wear them while fielding. However,
this was neither understood nor acceptable to the Australian crowds.
They quickly took exception to the importance he seemed to place on
class distinction. Although Jardine may simply have worn the cap out
of superstition, it conveyed a negative impression to the spectators,
with his general demeanour drawing one comment of "Where's the butler
to carry the bat for you?" Jardine's cap became a focus for
criticism and mockery from the crowds throughout the tour.
Jack Fingleton later claimed that Jardine could still
have brought the crowds onto his side by exchanging jokes or
pleasantries with them. It is certain that Jardine by this stage
had developed an intense dislike for Australian crowds. During his
third century at the start of the tour, during a period of abuse from
the spectators, he observed to a sympathetic
Hunter Hendry that "All
Australians are uneducated, and an unruly mob". After the innings,
Patsy Hendren said that the Australian crowds did not like
Jardine, he replied "It's fucking mutual". Due to the large
number of good close fielders in the side, Jardine did not field in
the slips, his usual position for Surrey, but next to the crowd on the
boundary. There, he was roundly abused and mocked, particularly when
chasing the ball: he was not a good fielder on the boundary. In
one of the Test matches, he spat towards the crowd while fielding on
the boundary as he changed position for the final time.
In the first Test, Jardine scored 35 and 65 not out. His first
innings began with England in an uncertain position, having lost three
wickets for 108 on a very good batting wicket. His innings led England
to a stronger position. He played very cautiously, being troubled by
Clarrie Grimmett and Bert Ironmonger, the Australian spinners. Jardine
believed that Ironmonger threw the ball, and this bowler gave him
considerable trouble throughout his career. Thanks to the bowling
of Harold Larwood, England took a huge first innings lead. In his
second innings, although he played well in his 65, Jardine was not
under much pressure. He scored a large number of singles, giving his
partners most of the bowling and building up the lead to the point
where England achieved a massive victory by 675 runs. This victory
surprised and troubled the Australian cricketing public. Jardine
played a similar role in the second Test, batting with Wally Hammond
to retrieve a poor start for England in his only innings as they won
by eight wickets. Jardine scored 62 in the third Test,
supporting Hammond who made a double century. However, when Australia
batted a second time, they built up a big lead and left England
needing 332 to win on an exceptionally bad wicket which had been
damaged by rain.
Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe, in one of their
most famous partnerships, put on 105. Hobbs sent a message to the team
that Jardine should be the next batsmen to come in, even though he
usually batted later on, as he was the batsman most likely to survive
in the conditions. When Hobbs was dismissed, Jardine came in to bat.
He survived, although finding batting exceptionally difficult, until
the day's play ended.
Percy Fender believed that Jardine was the only
batsman in the side who could have coped with the difficult
conditions. He went on to make 33 next day, and England won by three
During the team's brief visit to Tasmania, Jardine made his highest
first-class score of 214. In the fourth Test, Jardine only scored
one run in the first innings, before he was given out leg before
wicket (lbw) despite obviously hitting the ball. In the second
innings, coming out to bat with the score 21 for two, Jardine scored
98 in a partnership of 262 with Hammond which was then the highest
partnership for the third wicket in all Test matches. The scoring was
very slow, and the crowd protested throughout Jardine's innings, even
though he scored faster than Hammond. He was out when Wisden believed
he looked certain to reach a century. England went on to win the match
by 12 runs.
Jardine was not successful in the final Test, won by Australia. He was
used as an opener, due to an injury to Sutcliffe, and made just 19 and
a first ball duck. Once both of his innings were completed, on the
fifth day of a match which lasted eight days, he left the match and
set off across Australia to catch a boat to India for a holiday. It is
not clear if this was planned or if he had simply had enough. Jardine
never provided an explanation, to the Australian press nor afterwards.
Later, Jardine wrote about the Australian crowds, complaining over
their involvement, but praising their knowledge and judgement of the
game and describing them as more informed than English crowds.
He also expressed later reservations to
Bob Wyatt about Percy Chapman,
saying that he would have shot him if a gun was available. Jardine
did not appear in first-class cricket in the 1929 season due to
Appointment as captain
At the beginning of the 1930 season, Jardine was offered the
vice-captaincy of Surrey. He was unable to accept owing to business
commitments and played just nine matches for the season, scoring 402
runs at an average of 36.54 and managing one century and one
fifty. He was never in the running for Test selection that season,
although his presence may have been missed as the English batting was
unreliable in the Tests. Christopher Douglas argues that had Jardine
been playing regularly, he would have been made captain for the final
Test, when Chapman was dropped in favour of the sounder batsman Bob
Wyatt. The sensation of the Test series was Donald Bradman,
who dominated the English bowling to score 974 runs with unprecedented
speed and certainty, making the English selectors realise that
something must be done to address his skill. With Bradman at the
fore, Australia regained the Ashes 2–1.
Jardine played a full season of cricket in 1931. In June, he was
appointed as captain for the Test against New Zealand (two more Tests
were later added). The English selectors were searching for possible
captains for the 1932–33 tour of Australia, with Bradman and
Australia's strong batting line up foremost in their minds.
Christopher Douglas believes that, as Jardine was not a regular county
captain, the selectors wanted to assess his leadership ability but had
probably not settled on him as a final choice. He was also chosen as a
dependable, proven batsman. While
Percy Fender approved of his
appointment, The Times' correspondent believed that he was unproven
and others were more deserving of the leadership. Ian Peebles,
writing 40 years later, claimed that Jardine's appointment was popular
but cricket administrators had misgivings.
Alan Gibson believed
that Jardine was chosen because the other candidates were either not
worth their place in the side, too old or had controversy attached to
them. Furthermore, Jardine impressed the chairman of selectors,
Pelham Warner, who stated that he was very effective in selection
meetings through his knowledge of cricket history and went into great
detail to choose the correct players; it seems that Warner was the
driving force behind Jardine's appointment.
In his first Test as captain, Jardine clashed with several players.
Frank Woolley was unhappy with his captain's manner, feeling
humiliated at his treatment in the field at one point. He also rebuked
Ian Peebles and Walter Robins, two young amateur bowlers, for their
amusement over an incident in the match. The home team's fortunes
were mixed, as New Zealand put up a very good fight in their first
Test in England, and both sides could have won. The New Zealanders
were so successful that a further two Tests were arranged.
Jardine was criticised in the press for not instructing his batsmen to
score quickly enough to win in the fourth innings, although this
strategy was unlikely to succeed, and the match was drawn. England
won the second Test by an innings and the third Test was drawn,
sealing the series 1–0. Jardine had a top score of just 38 in the
series, but only batted four times and was not out in three of the
innings. At the beginning of the following season, Wisden's editor
believed that, as Jardine had failed to impress (unspecified) people
with his captaincy, he was no longer a certainty to lead the side to
Australia, and only Percy Chapman's lack of form prevented his
reinstatement at Jardine's expense. As a batsman, Jardine was more
impressive in Wisden's opinion, showing himself to be good in defence
despite his lack of cricket in the past two seasons. A notable
innings was his 104 for The Rest to prevent defeat against champion
county Yorkshire. The opposition bowling, particularly from Bill
Bowes, was short and hostile, but Jardine survived for over four
hours. He scored 1,104 first-class runs for the season at an
average of 64.94.
At the beginning of the 1932 season, Jardine became captain of Surrey.
There was much speculation that Fender had been replaced due to
disputes with the Surrey committee but it was some time before this,
and Jardine's appointment, was confirmed. Fender was supportive of
Jardine and happy to play under him. Jardine overcame a cautious
beginning to develop a more aggressive captaincy style, and Surrey
finished in their highest position in the championship for six
years. England played one international match that season, India's
first ever Test match, and Jardine was selected as captain. India
possessed a very effective bowling attack on this tour, which
surprised many teams, and England's batsmen struggled against them.
Jardine, who had played a long innings against the tourists for M.C.C.
earlier in the season, was the only English batsman to pass 30 in both
innings. He scored 79 and 85 not out, and was praised for two
excellent defensive innings in a difficult situation by Wisden and The
Cricketer. During the match, Jardine again clashed
with his team. He gave
Bill Bowes and
Bill Voce the very unusual
instruction to bowl one full toss each over to take advantage of the
batsmen's trouble seeing the ball against the crowd. The bowlers did
not do so, and were later reprimanded by Jardine who told them to obey
orders. Jardine himself went on to score 1,464 runs in the season
at an average of 52.28.
Planning for the 1932–33 tour
A week after the Test, it was announced that Jardine would captain the
M.C.C. team to Australia that winter, although he seemed to have had
last minute doubts about accepting. Others were also concerned
about whether he was the best choice. For example,
Rockley Wilson is
reputed to have said that with Jardine as captain, "We shall win the
Ashes ... but we may well lose a Dominion". However, the
selectors thought that a determined leader was needed to defeat the
Australians and a more disciplined approach than that of Percy Chapman
on the previous tour was needed. Jardine began to plan tactics
from this point, discussing ideas with various people. He was aware
that Bradman, Australia's star batsman and the main worry of the
selectors, had occasionally shown vulnerability to pace bowling.
During the final Test of the 1930 Ashes at the Oval, during Bradman's
innings of 232, the wicket became difficult for a time following rain.
Bradman was briefly seen to be uncomfortable facing deliveries that
bounced higher than usual at a faster pace.
Percy Fender was one of
many cricketers who noticed, and he discussed this with Jardine in
1932. When Jardine later saw film footage of the Oval
incident and noticed Bradman's discomfort, he shouted, "I've got it!
He's yellow!" Further details that developed his plans came from
letters Fender received from Australia in 1932 describing how
Australian batsmen were increasingly moving across the stumps towards
the off-side to play the ball on the on-side. Fender showed these
letters to Jardine. It was also known in England that Bradman had
shown some discomfort during the 1931–32 Australian season against
Following Jardine's appointment, a meeting was arranged with
Nottinghamshire captain Arthur Carr and his two fast bowlers Larwood
and Voce at London's Piccadilly Hotel. Jardine explained his belief
that Bradman was weak against bowling directed at leg stump and that
if this line of attack could be maintained, it would restrict
Bradman's scoring to one side of the field, giving the bowlers greater
control of his scoring. Jardine asked Larwood and Voce if they could
bowl accurately on leg stump and make the ball rise up into the body
of the batsman. The bowlers agreed that they could, and that it might
prove effective, but Jardine stressed that bowling accurately was
vitally important, or Bradman would dominate the bowling. Larwood
believed that Jardine saw Bradman as his main target and wished to
attack him psychologically as well as in a cricketing sense. At the
same time, other Australian batsmen were also discussed.
Larwood and Voce practised the plan over the remainder of the 1932
season with mixed success. Jardine also visited Frank Foster
who had toured Australia in 1911–12 to discuss field placings
appropriate to Australian conditions. Foster had bowled leg theory on
that tour with his fielders placed close in on the leg-side, as had
George Hirst in 1903–04. During the second half of the season,
the team to tour Australia was announced. The selection of four fast
bowlers and a few medium pacers was very unusual at the time, and it
was commented on by the hosts' media, including Bradman. The
selection of Eddie Paynter, who did not have a strong record, to
replace the ill
Kumar Shri Duleepsinhji
Kumar Shri Duleepsinhji was very likely a choice of
Jardine. He had a history of good performances against Yorkshire, and
Jardine considered that a player's record against northern counties
was a good indication of his potential at international level.
Main article: Bodyline
Beginning of the tour
A team photograph of England's 1932–33 side: Jardine is seated at
the centre of the front row;
Pelham Warner is standing at the extreme
In Jardine's obituary, Wisden described this tour as "probably the
most controversial tour in history. England won four of the five
Tests, but it was the methods they employed rather than the results
which caused so much discussion and acrimony." On the journey to
Australia, by the boat Orontes, Jardine kept away from his team. He
issued some instructions on their conduct, such as giving autographs
or keeping out of the sun. He also began to have disagreements with
Plum Warner, who was one of the two team managers along with Richard
Palairet. He discussed tactics with
Harold Larwood and other
bowlers, spoke to
Hedley Verity about his role in the team, and he may
have met batsmen
Wally Hammond and Herbert Sutcliffe. Some players
reported that Jardine told them to hate the Australians in order to
defeat them, while instructing them to refer to Bradman as "the little
bastard." At this stage, he seems to have settled on leg theory,
if not full Bodyline, as his main tactic.
Once the team arrived in Australia, Jardine quickly alienated the
press by refusing to give team details before a match and being
uncooperative when interviewed by journalists. The press printed some
negative stories as a result and the crowds barracked as they had done
on his previous tour, which made him angry. Jardine still
wore his Harlequin cap and began the tour well with 98 and 127 before
the first Test. Once again, he clashed with paceman Bill Bowes,
refusing to give his bowler the requested field placings in an early
match. As a result, Bowes deliberately gave away easy runs in an
attempt to get his way, but following a discussion, Bowes was
converted to Jardine's tactics and ultimately to his ability as a
captain. In a tour match, Jardine also instructed Hammond to
attack the bowling of Chuck Fleetwood-Smith, whom he considered
dangerous and thus did not want him to play in the Tests. Up
until this point, there had been little unusual about the English
bowling except the number of fast bowlers. Larwood and Voce were given
a light workload in the early matches by Jardine. This changed in
the match against an Australian XI, from which Jardine rested himself,
where the bowlers first used the tactics that came to be known as
Bodyline. Under the captaincy of Wyatt, the bowlers bowled short and
around leg stump, with fielders positioned close by on the leg side to
catch any deflections. Wyatt later claimed that this was not planned
beforehand and he simply passed on to Jardine what happened after the
match. These tactics continued in the next match; several players
were hit. Many commentators criticised this style of bowling;
although bowlers had previously used leg theory bowling, where bowlers
bowled outside leg stump with a concentration of fielders on the leg
side, using these tactics with fast bowlers dropping the ball short
was almost unprecedented. It was seen as dangerous and against the
spirit of the game. In a letter, Jardine told Fender that his
information about the Australian batting technique was correct and
that it meant he was having to move more and more fielders onto the
leg side. He said that "if this goes on I shall have to move the whole
bloody lot to the leg side." Jardine increasingly came into
disagreement with Warner over
Bodyline as the tour progressed,
but his tactics were successful in one respect: in six innings against
the tourists ahead of the Tests, Bradman had scored only 103 runs,
causing concern among the Australian public who expected much more
See also: Third Test, 1932–33 Ashes series
When the first Test began, Jardine persisted with
even though Bradman, the main target, did not play in the match. David
Frith has pointed out that Bradman would have been watching and seeing
the tactics that England were using. However, when Stan McCabe
was scoring 187 not out, Jardine was briefly seen to be unsettled as
runs came quickly, and he may not have been fully convinced that the
tactics would be successful. England eventually won the match
comfortably. In the second Test, Jardine completely
misjudged the pitch and left out a specialist spinner when conditions
later in the match favoured one. The match seemed to be
going well when
Bill Bowes unexpectedly bowled the returning Bradman
first ball in the first innings; Jardine was seen to be so delighted
that he had clasped his hands above his head and performed a "war
dance". This was an extremely unusual reaction in the 1930s,
particularly from Jardine who rarely showed any emotion while playing
cricket. In the second innings, Bradman scored an unbeaten
century which helped Australia to win the match and level the series
at one match each. This made it seem to critics that
Bodyline was not
quite the threat that had been perceived and Bradman's reputation,
which had suffered slightly with his earlier failures, was restored.
On the other hand, the pitch was slightly slower than was customary
throughout the series, and Larwood was suffering from problems with
his boots which reduced his effectiveness.
Jardine had clashed with more of his team by this stage: he had argued
Gubby Allen at least twice about his refusal to bowl Bodyline
(although he did bowl bouncers and fielded in the "leg trap", the
fielders who waited for catches close in on the leg side);
and the Nawab of Pataudi had refused to field in the "leg trap", to
which Jardine responded, "I see his highness is a conscientious
objector", and subsequently allowed Pataudi to play little part in the
The teams went into the third Test with the series level; England won
that match but the controversy nearly ended the tour. Jardine,
concerned by his poor run of batting form, had promoted himself to
open the batting but was part of a drastic England collapse to 30 for
four in the first innings. However, the trouble began when Bill
Woodfull was struck on the chest by a Larwood delivery, drawing the
comment from Jardine of "Well bowled, Harold", aimed mainly at Bradman
who was also batting at the time. For the next ball faced by Woodfull,
at the start of Larwood's next over, the fielders moved into the
Bodyline fielding positions for the next ball he faced. Jardine wrote
that Larwood had asked for the field to be moved, while Larwood said
that it was Jardine's decision. The crowd became noisily angry as the
ill feeling caused by the English bowling tactics spilled out, and
Jardine later expressed regret that he had moved the fielders when he
did. There was further anger later in the innings when Bert
Oldfield suffered a fractured skull. At this point, several of the
players feared that there may be a riot and that the crowd would jump
onto the field to attack them; mounted police were deployed as a
precaution, but the spectators remained behind the fences.
Jardine then batted very slowly in an innings of 56, during which he
was continuously barracked by the crowd. Despite England's
win, Wisden believed that it was probably the most unpleasant match
ever played. However, it commended Jardine's courage, claimed that
praise of his leadership was unanimous, and said that "above all he
captained his team in this particular match like a genius". In
the immediate aftermath, journalists in England and Australia took up
viewpoints both for and against Jardine. The M.C.C. sent a telegram
congratulating him on winning the match.
Bill Woodfull facing bodyline bowling from Harold
Larwood in the fourth Test at Brisbane 1932–33. Jardine is the third
fielder anti-clockwise in the ring, the furthest fielder on the left.
Following the third Test, strongly worded cables passed between the
Australian Board of Control and the M.C.C. at Lord's. The Australian
Board accused the English team of unsportsmanlike tactics, stating
Bodyline bowling has assumed such proportions as to menace the
best interests of the game, making protection of the body the main
consideration." The M.C.C. responded angrily to the accusations
of unsporting conduct, played down the Australian claims about the
Bodyline and threatened to call off the tour. The series was
becoming a major diplomatic incident by this stage, and many people
Bodyline as damaging to an international relationship that needed
to remain strong. Public reaction in both England and Australia
was outrage directed at the other nation. The Governor of South
Australia, Alexander Hore-Ruthven, who was in England at the time,
expressed his concern to British Secretary of State for Dominion
James Henry Thomas
James Henry Thomas that this would cause a significant impact
on trade between the nations. The standoff was settled only when
Australian Prime Minister
Joseph Lyons met members of the Australian
Board and outlined to them the severe economic hardships that could be
caused in Australia if the British public boycotted Australian trade.
Given this understanding, the Board withdrew the allegation of
unsportsmanlike behaviour two days before the fourth Test, thus saving
the tour. However, correspondence continued for almost a
year. Jardine was shaken by the events and by the hostile
reactions that his team were receiving. Stories appeared in the press,
possibly leaked by the disenchanted Nawab of Pataudi, about
fights and arguments between the England players. Jardine offered to
Bodyline if the team did not support him, but after a
private meeting (not attended by Jardine or either of the team
managers) the players released a statement fully supporting Jardine
Bodyline tactics. It was subsequently revealed that several of
the players had private reservations, but they did not express them
publicly at the time. Even so, Jardine would not have played
in the fourth Test without the withdrawal of the unsportsmanlike
Once the fourth Test got underway, England won the match to take the
series. Partly prompted by Jardine,
Eddie Paynter scored 83 having
released himself from hospital. Jardine went on to make a
painstaking 24, at one point facing 82 balls without scoring a single
run. He was not proud of his batting performance, being shamefaced to
Australian Test opener Jack Fingleton, and describing his batting
to Bill O'Reilly as being "like an old maid defending her
virginity." England also won the final Test ending on 28
February, with a final clash taking place between Jardine and Larwood.
After a long bowling spell, Larwood was furious when Jardine sent him
in to bat as nightwatchman but went on to score 98 runs. Later,
Larwood broke his foot while bowling in the second innings, but
Jardine was not convinced that he was seriously injured. He made him
stay on the field until Bradman was out. Larwood, partly through this
injury and partly through political repercussions from this series,
never played another Test. Also in this match, Jardine enraged
Harry Alexander by asking him not to run on the pitch as he was
damaging it and giving his side an advantage. He proceeded to bowl
hostile bouncers at Jardine, who was struck painfully to the delight
of the crowd.
While Jardine won the series as captain, he contributed just 199 runs
at an average of 22.11 in the Tests, and 628 runs (average 36.94)
in all first-class cricket in Australia. Jardine only played in
the first Test of the short series which followed in New Zealand, due
to rheumatism. All the players enjoyed the short tour although rain
ruined the cricket, and Jardine was observed to show signs of paranoia
towards all things Australian. Pelham Warner, although he later
stated that he disapproved of
Bodyline bowling, praised Jardine's
captaincy on the tour and believed that he was cruelly treated by the
Australian crowds. He further believed that Jardine was convinced that
the tactics were legitimate.
Aftermath and 1933 season
Bodyline continued throughout the following summer.
Jardine himself contributed his opinion in a book, In Quest for the
Ashes, a first-hand account of the
Bodyline tour. He defended his
tactics and heavily criticised the Australian barrackers, to the
extent of suggesting that fixtures between England and Australia
should be halted until this problem was solved. While arguments
continued to rage in print and discussion, even at government level,
Jardine received a hero's welcome on his return to England, making
several public appearances. Despite his fears that the M.C.C. might
sack him in the face of criticism, he was appointed as England captain
for the series against the West Indies in 1933. He continued to
captain Surrey during his infrequent first-class appearances that
summer, although business commitments prevented him from playing a
full season. He was cheered by the crowd or given a standing
ovation when he came out to bat as M.C.C. captain against the West
Indians in May, at
Sheffield for Surrey against Yorkshire, and in the
first and second Test matches. In all first-class cricket
that season, Jardine scored 779 runs at an average of 51.93, including
three hundreds. One of these centuries came in the second Test
(Jardine missed the third with an injury that ended his season).
Some bowlers had experimented with
Bodyline in the season, and the
West Indian team, 1–0 down in the series and frustrated by the lack
of pace in the pitches, decided to experiment with the
tactic. Facing a good West Indies total, England suffered a
batting collapse, at one point falling to 134 for four. With Les Ames
in difficulty against the short-pitched bowling, Jardine said, "You
get yourself down this end, Les. I'll take care of this bloody
nonsense." He went right back to the bouncers, standing on
tiptoe, and stopped them with a dead bat, sometimes playing the ball
one handed for more control. Wisden described how he never
flinched despite facing the greatest amount of Bodyline. It also
believed that he played it "probably better than any other man in the
world was capable of doing." He batted for nearly five hours,
scoring 127, his only Test century. England then retaliated
Bodyline in the West Indies' second innings, but the slow
pitch meant that the match was drawn. However, this performance
played a large part in turning English opinion against Bodyline.
The Times used the word "Bodyline", without using inverted commas or
using the qualification "so-called", for the first time. Wisden
said that "most of those watching it for the first time must have come
to the conclusion that, while strictly within the law, it was not
Jardine's Test career batting graph. The red bars indicate the runs
that he scored in an innings, and the blue line indicates the batting
average in his last 10 innings. The blue dots indicate innings in
which Jardine finished not out.
During the 1933 season, Jardine was appointed as captain for the
M.C.C. tour of India that winter which would feature the hosts' first
Tests at home. This continued support for Jardine in the face of
growing unhappiness towards
Bodyline bowling came with some
reservations, as the President and Secretary of the M.C.C. met Jardine
for discussions prior to his appointment. This was probably about the
need for diplomacy and tact on what may have proved to be a sensitive
tour. With only two players from the
Bodyline tour, Jardine and
Verity, taking part, it was not a full-strength side but won the Test
series 2–0. India were weaker than expected, and lacked a large
group of quality players. Jardine nevertheless won praise from Wisden
for his captaincy and his batting. He approached the matches with
a very competitive spirit, seeking to gain every advantage with his
tactics and research. At the same time, he was far more willing to
take up speaking engagements than on the
Bodyline tour, showed an
appreciation and regard for Indian crowds which he had never extended
to Australia, and played the diplomatic role that was usually expected
of a captain of the M.C.C. at the time. He often spoke of his
affection for India, describing it as the land of his birth and seemed
to be relaxed and happy on this tour.
England won the Test series 2–0. Jardine contributed three fifties
in four innings in the series, scoring 221 runs at an average of
73.66. He scored 60, 61 and 65 before his final Test innings ended
at 35 not out. Jardine scored 831 first-class runs on the Indian
leg of the tour—he played one match in Ceylon (now Sri
Lanka)—averaging 55.40. Although Jardine enjoyed the tour, there
were still clashes evident. There was an argument with the Viceroy
over Jardine selecting the Maharaja of Patiala to play for the M.C.C.
in one match; in a subsequent match, Jardine complained that the pitch
was rolled for too long. He also clashed, later on, with the umpire
Frank Tarrant, initially due to suspicion over the number of lbw
decisions given against the M.C.C., but also because Tarrant had
warned him against using
Bodyline and was employed by Indian princes.
Jardine threatened to stop him umpiring and sent a telegram to Lord's,
with the result that Tarrant, having officiated the first two Tests,
was not used in the third. For much of the time, Jardine
used different tactics to those employed in Australia. Slow bowling,
particularly that of Hedley Verity, played a key part in the bowling
attack. At times, the faster bowlers Nobby Clark and Stan Nichols
bowled Bodyline, resulting in several injuries. In this case, the
Mohammad Nissar and Amar Singh retaliated with Bodyline
bowling of their own.
As the tour went on, there was discussion at a high level over
Jardine's future. The M.C.C. authorities had realised that Bodyline
was dangerous and should not be continued, but some figures such as
Lord Hawke did not want to let Jardine down. Australians saw him as
more of a problem; the likes of Alexander Hore-Ruthven wanted
guarantees that Jardine would not use
Bodyline and even that he not
Plum Warner also believed that Jardine should no longer
captain. Jardine himself saved the English selectors from any
possible dilemma. In March 1934, he first told Surrey that he would be
unable to play regularly any more and he resigned as captain. Then in
an announcement in the Evening Standard, he stated that "I have
neither the intention nor the desire to play cricket against Australia
this summer." It is unclear whether this was due to the pressure
over Bodyline, over assurances that the M.C.C. may have asked him to
give or simply due to financial worries. This decision
effectively ended his first-class career. He never played another Test
and played only two more first-class matches in England, in 1937 and
1948, and one in India in 1943–44.
Jardine played in 22 Test matches for England, scoring 1,296 runs at
an average of 48.00. In his first-class cricket career, he played 262
matches, scoring 14,848 runs at an average of 46.83. His occasional
bowling brought him 48 wickets at an average of 31.10.
Style and personality
Jardine batting in the early 1930s
Jardine was seen as having a classical technique. While batting, he
stood very straight and side on to the bowler. His off-driving was
powerful, his defence was excellent, and he was superb at judging the
line of the ball and letting it pass by if it was going to miss his
wickets. His on-side play was also excellent, being able to place the
ball between fielders for easy runs. Christopher Douglas
described Jardine as "the epitome of the old-fashioned amateur".
However, he also comments that his approach to batting was like that
of a professional and that his back-foot batting was of a quality that
few amateurs could manage. In 1928, Wisden's correspondent
described Jardine as the most secure amateur batsman of the time, and
identified his greatest strength as his defence and his "mental
gifts." He played very straight and hit the ball hard in defence,
but could not play all the strokes, particularly on the off side.
R. C. Robertson-Glasgow
R. C. Robertson-Glasgow believed that Jardine had modelled himself on
C. B. Fry. He also noted that Jardine displayed good concentration, a
strong desire to improve his batting and a fighting spirit that
brought out his best in a crisis. He also said that Jardine could
play every recognised cricket shot, but would not do so in a match and
Robertson-Glasgow believed it was Jardine's one weakness as a batsman.
The more important the occasion, the more defensive and restricted
Jardine's batting became: "In general, as the task grew greater, the
strokes grew fewer."
Christopher Douglas argues that Jardine liked to make his runs when
his side was in difficulty and enjoyed being tested; his approach
would often lead his team to recovery from an unfavourable
situation. Douglas comments that Jardine held his place in the
England side despite strong competition from other batsmen. His
defensive technique rescued England from weak positions in around a
dozen innings and only played in two losses with England (which were
his two least successful games with the bat). He also excelled in
Gentlemen v Players fixture at Lord's, making a good score in
each of his appearances in this match.
Jack Hobbs classed him as
a great batsman and believed that he was under-rated by his
Wisden believed that Jardine's effective batting technique meant that
fast bowlers troubled him less than other batsmen. He did have
difficulties with a few bowlers. Alec Kennedy, a medium paced inswing
bowler, took Jardine's wicket eleven times, eight of these occasions
before the batsman had scored 20 runs. Kennedy found that Jardine had
slightly slow footwork, often bowling him or trapping him lbw.
Bert Ironmonger also troubled Jardine, taking his wicket in five of
the eleven Test innings in which they faced each other. Jardine
displayed a slight weakness against Australian slow bowlers, not
moving his feet well enough against them. In 16 Test innings in
Australia, he was out to slow bowlers ten times, but he rarely
experienced similar difficulties against English spinners.
One other bowler to cause Jardine problems was the Australian paceman
Tim Wall, who took his wicket five times on the nine occasions he
bowled to him.
As a captain, Jardine inspired great loyalty in his players, even if
they did not approve of his tactics. Christopher Douglas judges
that Jardine did very well to keep the team united and loyal on the
Bodyline tour. He points out that team spirit was always excellent and
the players showed great determination and resolve. Jardine
particularly impressed Yorkshiremen who played under him, as they
believed he thought about cricket in a similar way to their county
colleagues. He became close to
Herbert Sutcliffe during the
Bodyline tour, even though Sutcliffe was sceptical about Jardine on
the previous Australian tour in 1928–29.
Hedley Verity was
impressed by Jardine's tactical understanding and named his younger
son Douglas after the captain.
Bill Bowes expressed approval of
his leadership after initial misgivings, and went on to call him
England's greatest captain. Nevertheless, some players such as
Arthur Mitchell who played under Jardine believed he was intolerant
and unsupportive of players of lesser talent, expecting everyone to
perform at world-class standards.
Jardine insisted on strict discipline from his players but in return
he went to great lengths to look after them, such as organising dental
treatment or providing champagne for his tired bowlers. Critics
praised his skill in field placing, which was sometimes interpreted as
panic when he made frequent changes if the batsmen were on
top. He also displayed great physical courage, such as when
he was struck by a ball hard enough to draw blood on the Bodyline
tour, but refused to show pain before reaching the dressing room.
On the same tour, he instructed his men not to be friendly or to
socialise with the Australian players;
Gubby Allen even claimed
that Jardine instructed the team to hate the Australians.
Robertson-Glasgow wrote that Jardine made thorough preparation for
games in which he was captain, studying individual batsmen at great
length to find weaknesses. He had very clear plans, judged the
strengths and weaknesses of his teams and knew how to get the best out
of individual players. However, Robertson-Glasgow considered it a
grave misjudgement to make Jardine captain of England, particularly
given his known antipathy towards Australia. Pelham Warner
described how Jardine "was a master of tactics and strategy, and was
especially adept in managing fast bowlers and thereby preserving their
energy. He possessed a great capacity for taking pains, which, it has
been said, is the mark of a genius ... As a field tactician and
selector of teams he was, I consider, surpassed by no one and equalled
by few, if any."
Laurence Le Quesne argues that one of Jardine's greatest talents, and
at the same time greatest weaknesses, was his ability to formulate a
winning strategy without consideration of wider contexts such as the
social aspect of the game. On the
Bodyline tour, he ignored the
diplomacy required of an M.C.C. delegation. Instead, he embarked,
according to Le Quesne, to win the Tests and settle personal scores
with the Australians. Jardine was personally incapable of reacting to
the crowds or responding to the controversy in a way that would have
eased tensions, and so was not a good choice as captain given what the
selectors already knew of him. Nevertheless, Le Quesne believed that
when trouble arose, Jardine conducted himself with "great moral
courage and an impressive degree of dignity and restraint."
In his Wisden obituary, Jardine was described as one of England's best
Jack Hobbs rated him the second best captain after
Percy Fender. Warner also said that he was a fine captain on and off
the field, and in dealing with administrators. In fact, he stated
that, "If ever there was a cricket match between England and the rest
of the world and the fate of England depended upon its result, I would
pick Jardine as England captain every time."
Jardine divided opinion among those with whom he played. He could be
charming and witty or ruthless and harsh, while many people who knew
him believed him to be innately shy.
David Frith describes him as
a complex figure who could change moods quickly. Although he could be
friendly off the field, he became hostile and determined once he
stepped onto the field. At his memorial service, he was described
Hubert Ashton as being "provocative, austere, brusque, shy, humble,
thoughtful, kindly, proud, sensitive, single-minded and possessed of
immense moral and physical courage," and Frith argues that these
varied qualities are easily proven by what was said about him.
Harold Larwood maintained great respect for Jardine, treasuring a gift
his captain gave him after the
Bodyline tour and believing him to be a
great man. Jardine showed affection for Larwood in return even after
both of their retirements; he expressed his concern for the way
Larwood was treated, hosted a lunch for the former fast bowler shortly
before he emigrated to Australia and met him there in 1954. On
the other hand, Donald Bradman would never speak to journalists about
Bodyline or Jardine, and refused to give a tribute when Jardine died
Jack Fingleton admitted that he had liked Jardine and
stated that he and Larwood had each done their job on the Bodyline
tour, and expressed regret at the way both left cricket in acrimonious
circumstances. Fingleton also described Jardine as an aloof
individual who preferred to take his time in judging a person before
befriending them, a quality that caused problems in Australia.
Bill O'Reilly stated that he disliked Jardine at the time of Bodyline,
but on meeting him later found him agreeable and even charming.
Alan Gibson said that Jardine had "irony rather than humour". He
Herbert Sutcliffe an umbrella as a joke on the day of his benefit
match, when rain would have ruined the match and lost Sutcliffe a
considerable amount of money. Many people who knew Jardine later
in his life described him as having a sense of humour.
Robertson-Glasgow noted that while he could curse very eloquently,
Jardine displayed "dislike of waste in material or words." He
also commented that "if he has sometimes been a fierce enemy, he has
also been a wonderful friend."
Career after cricket
Shortly before the tour of India in 1933–34, Jardine became engaged
and on 14 September 1934, married Irene "Isla" Margaret Peat in
London. She had met Jardine at shooting parties at her father's
Norfolk home. According to Gerald Howat, Jardine's marriage was the
probable reason for his giving up playing first-class
cricket. Jardine's father-in-law was keen for him to pursue
his law career but he instead continued as a bank clerk and began to
work as a journalist. He reported on the 1934 Ashes for the Evening
Standard. His writing for the press, and in a follow-up book on
the series, was critical of selectors but less so of the players.
In 1936, he penned Cricket: how to succeed, which was written as an
instruction book for the National Union of Teachers. There was a
possibility of his going to Australia as a journalist to cover the
M.C.C. tour of 1936–37, to the dismay of Hore-Ruthven, but nothing
came of this. With alterations to the law in 1935, changing the
lbw law and preventing
Bodyline bowling, Jardine became increasingly
disillusioned with top-level cricket. He had grown uncomfortable with
the nationalism stirred up by Tests, the greed of clubs and the large
public following of individual players, particularly Bradman. At
the same time, Jardine seemed to be ostracised by cricket writers and
commentators, who simply ignored him. For example, Wisden made no
mention of his retirement. Christopher Douglas believes that Jardine
was used as a scapegoat for
Bodyline once the M.C.C. stopped
supporting the tactic and that a stigma was attached to him for the
rest of his life and beyond.
Although Jardine had retired from regular first-class competition, he
continued to play club cricket. Jardine and his wife initially
lived in Kensington but moved to Reading after the birth of their
first child, daughter Fianach. A second daughter, Marion, followed but
the family suffered from financial worries. Jardine, as well as
working in journalism, earned money from playing bridge. The family
also tried unsuccessfully to engage in market gardening. To make more
money, Jardine became a salesman with Cable & Wireless before
working for a coal mining company in the late 1930s. In 1939, he
returned to cricket journalism and according to Christopher Douglas,
achieved his highest standard as a writer.
Career in the Second World War
Jardine joined the Territorial Army in August 1939. Once World
War II began, he was commissioned into the Royal Berkshire
Regiment and went with the British Expeditionary Force to France. He
served at Dunkirk, where he was fortunate to escape but suffered some
injuries. After serving as staff captain at St. Albans, he was
posted to India for the remainder of the war. He served in Quetta,
then Simla as a major in the Central Provisions Directorate. He became
fluent in the
Hindustani language and although friendly, never formed
close relationships with other officers. He gave lectures and played
some cricket while in India. He left the army in 1945 only to find his
job with the coal mining company was no longer available.
In the meantime, his wife had moved to Somerset. In 1940, she gave
birth to a son, Euan, who had many medical problems, and in 1943 she
bore a third daughter, Iona. The pressure of running the household and
caring for Euan led Isla to have a nervous breakdown after Iona's
birth. When Jardine returned from the war, the family moved to
Radlett to be closer to London. Isla recovered and Jardine found a job
with paper manufacturers Wiggins Teape. In 1946, Jardine was
chosen to play for Old England in a popular and successful fund
raising match against Surrey. He displayed much of his old batting
skill but did not show much involvement with his team-mates.
By 1948, Jardine was more accepted in the cricket world. This was
partly due to English perception of the short-pitched fast bowling of
Ray Lindwall and
Keith Miller as being
hostile. England's poor performance in the 1946–47 and 1948
Ashes also caused writers to remember Jardine more fondly as an icon
of past English success.
In 1953, Jardine resumed journalism for the Ashes series and expressed
a high opinion of Len Hutton's captaincy. He also did some
broadcasting and wrote short stories to supplement his income; Isla
was in poor health and her medical care was expensive. In the
same year, he became the first President of the Umpires Association,
while from 1955 to 1957 he was President of the Oxford University
Cricket Club. In 1953, he travelled, with some trepidation, as a
board member of the Scottish Australian Company to inspect some land
in Australia. While there, he struck up a friendship with Fingleton
and was surprised to be well received in the country, in his own
words, as "an old so-and-so who got away with it."
In 1957, Jardine travelled to Rhodesia, again to inspect some land,
with his daughter Marion. While there, he became ill with tick fever.
He showed no improvement upon his return to England and further tests
revealed that he had advanced lung cancer. After some treatment, he
travelled with his wife to a clinic in Switzerland but it was
discovered that the cancer had spread and was incurable. He died in
Switzerland on 18 June 1958 and his ashes were scattered over the top
of Craigs Cross mountain in Perthshire, Scotland. His family had
enquired about having his ashes dispersed at Lord's, but this honour
was restricted to war dead. When he died, his estate was valued
at just over £71,000, which would have been worth around £1¼
million in 2008.
Jardine is inextricably associated with Bodyline.
John Arlott wrote in
1989 that "It is no exaggeration to say that, among Australians,
Douglas Jardine is probably the most disliked of cricketers." In
the view of Christopher Douglas, his name "stands for the legendary
British qualities of cool-headed determination, implacable resolve,
patrician disdain for crowds and critics alike – if you're
English that is. To Australians the name is synonymous with the
legendary British qualities of snobbishness, cynicism and downright
Pommie arrogance." He also argues that Bodyline, which was legal
at the time, was a necessary step to overcome the unfair advantage
which batsmen of the time enjoyed.
Bodyline tour, according to cricket writer Gideon Haigh,
Jardine was seen as "the most reviled man in sport." This
perception faded from the 1950s onwards, and in more recent times,
Jardine has been viewed more sympathetically. In 2002, the England
Nasser Hussain was compared to Jardine as a compliment when he
displayed ruthlessness against the opposition.
^ Douglas, pp. 1–2.
^ a b Douglas, p. 3.
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Douglas Robert (1900–1958)". Oxford Dictionary of National
Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 9 June 2010.
^ Douglas, pp. 37–38.
^ Douglas, p. 22.
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^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "First-class Batting and
Fielding in Each Season by Douglas Jardine". CricketArchive. Retrieved
28 January 2010.
^ Douglas, pp. 23–24.
^ a b c d "
Douglas Jardine (Cricinfo profile)". ESPNCricinfo.
Retrieved 29 January 2010.
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Customs. London: Souvenir Press. p. 237.
^ Frith, p. 31.
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Wisden & Co. 1929. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
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Almanack. John Wisden & Co. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
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^ a b Caine, Stewart (1932). "Notes by the Editor". Wisden Cricketers'
Almanack. John Wisden & Co. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
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& Co. 1933. Retrieved 9 February 2010.
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^ Frith, pp. 94, 102, 106–07.
^ a b Frith, p. 105.
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Douglas Jardine at ESPNcricinfo
Douglas Jardine at CricketArchive (subscription required)
English national cricket captain
Test cricket captains
1882; 1884: Hornby
1886; 1888: Steel
1888–1896; 1899: Grace
1888/89: C.A. Smith
1893; 1894/95–1897/98: Stoddart
1897/98; 1899–1909: MacLaren
1907/08; 1909/10: Fane
1909/10: Leveson Gower
1911/12–1920/21; 1921; 1924: Douglas
1922/23: F.T. Mann
1924–1924/25: A.E.R. Gilligan
1926; 1929: A.W. Carr
1926; 1928–1930/31: Chapman
1928/29; 1929: White
1929/30: A.H.H. Gilligan
1930; 1932/33; 1933; 1934–1935: Wyatt
1946/47; 1947–1950: Yardley
1948/49–1949: F.G. Mann
1949; 1950; 1950/51–1951: Brown
1951/52: D.B. Carr
1959; 1959/60; 1960; 1961; 1962; 1966–1968/69: M.C. Cowdrey
1963/64–1965/66; 1966: M.J.K. Smith
1966; 1967: Close
1973/74–1974/75; 1975: Denness
1977/78; 1977/78: Boycott
1980–1980/81; 1981: Botham
1982–1983/84; 1983/84: Willis
1982; 1983/84–1985/86; 1986; 1989: Gower
1986–1987/88; 1988: Gatting
1988: C.S. Cowdrey
1988; 1988–1993: Gooch
1989/90; 1990/91: Lamb
1992/93; 1992/93–1998/99; 2000; 2001: Stewart
1993; 1993/94–1997/98; 2001: Atherton
2004; 2005/06: Trescothick
2006; 2007; 2008/09–2012: Strauss
2010; 2012–2016/17: Cook
Italics denote deputised captaincy
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