A radio documentary covering England's controversial 'Bodyline' Ashes tour to Australia in 1932-33. England, capatined by Douglas Jardine, won the series 4-1 but it was the tactics employed by Jardine that caused such outrage in Australia.
Boasting a fierce bowling attack, spearheaded by Harold Larwood, England's tactic was to employ a leg side field and bowl at the body. Jardine had devised the plan to combat the threat of Don Bradman, who gives his recollections here. "I tried to counter it by moving towards the leg side and trying to hit the ball onto the offside where there were no fieldsmen," Bradman says. "Unfortunately this exposed me to greater physical danger.....it was a pretty impossible job."
It was in the Third Test at Adelaide that relations between the countries reached a low. Australia wicketkeeper Bert Oldfield was struck on the head by a Larwood bouncer, suffering a fractured skull. Jardine was not employing the bodyline tactic at the time but mounted police surrounded the boundary as the crowd's anger reached fever pitch. Wisden called the Third Test 'probably the most unpleasant Test ever played'.
Presented by Peter Baxter.