Cricket's Wartime Sanctuary: The First-Class Flight to Bradford

By Tony Barker

with foreword by Bob Appleyard

For ten seasons in the 20th century, the Bradford Cricket League provided the best competitive cricket in England. In both World Wars, the league’s clubs often fielded sides with two, three or more county or international players, some from overseas. With few other leisure opportunities, Bradfordians could for a few pence go to their local cricket grounds and see local lads – some of them home on leave from the forces – pit their skills against some of the stars of the time.

The clubs flourished in ways unimaginable even today. Their committees competed to hire and even fire household names and lesser mortals. Tony Barker, who as a boy watched league matches in the 1940s, skilfully tells a carefully researched tale of those times – the excitements, the money, the intrigues and above all, the cricket. It may be a local story, but it is one with a national overtone.

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