David Hookes represented much of what World Series Cricket was about. He was the next generation. He was the good-looking brash left-hander that had punched Tony Greig to the fence five times in a row in the Centenary test. He was made for television. He was the future.
And yet, for all of his attributes, David Hookes had a profound impact on the future of World Series Cricket in a manner that no-one could have foreseen. Andy Roberts had a reputation for bowling a rather innocuous ‘slow bouncer’ and following it up with a demon ball that caught the batsman off the pace. Roberts released such a demon ball to David Hookes in the second Supertest, shattering the young batsman’s jaw.
With Hookes’ blood on the pitch, the Australian audience seemed to grasp that WSC was playing for keeps. Parallels were drawn to McCosker’s bravery in the Centenary Test. The names like “circus” and “troupe” that had long been attached to the WSC venture suddenly seemed hollow. This wasn’t an exhibition match; this was cricket at its most combative.
Hookesy’s mis-timed hook had changed the game and yet there was still more change to come…