The Establishment Boys

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Monday 9 May 1977 was an historic moment for world cricket. It was the day Kerry Packer announced he'd bought the cream of Australia's cricketing talent, to play in his own private competition.

Over the next two years, the game became bitterly divided between two parallel competitions: the rock-star realm of Packer's World Series Cricket and traditional Test cricket, now depicted as stodgy and obsolete. While Packer and his glamorous brigade won the war, Test cricket survived due to those who carried the Australian banner for the game: younger, poorly paid men representing their country.

Those players became known as the Establishment Boys. Many of their names have long been forgotten and their deeds lost in the footnotes of Australian cricket history. Here, ABC journalist and former cricketer Barry Nicholls tells their story at last.