Introducing Peter Newlinds
Peter Newlinds worked for ABC Radio Grandstand for 18 years through the 1990s and 2000s.
His name and voice will be familiar to cricket followers around Australia, and also to the followers of many of the various sports the ABC has covered over the years.
He provides a unique perspective on the life of the broadcaster as someone who may not have been one of the biggest names on radio, but nevertheless was always there, someone whose voice was heard routinely on most days over summer as the cricket broadcast went ‘around the grounds’.
About The Book
In Around the Grounds, Peter shares memories and insights that will fire sparks of nostalgia in every Australian sporting enthusiast.
From teenage years working inside the grand scoreboard of the SCG, to the pressure of auditioning for the ABC in front of a childhood hero, and then through a long career with the national broadcaster.
It’s the story of the sporting fan who manages to live out the ultimate sporting fantasy: working as a commentator with one of the world’s great sporting broadcasters.
Peter describes his numerous experiences with Grandstand covering everything from international cricket to air pistol shooting on the outskirts of New Delhi.
In doing so, he provides the reader with numerous insights into life ‘one step away’ from the action, working with broadcasting legends and crossing paths with sporting greatness at regular intervals.
After reading Around the Grounds, readers will never listen to radio sport coverage in quite the same way again...
"This reminded me of Stephen Chalke’s miniature masterpiece about a love for sport... I can’t bring higher praise than that... I was sorry to have to leave Peter Newlinds’ world." - Malcolm Knox
PS: It's also great to see Bellerive Oval on the front cover!
Title: Around The Grounds
Author: Peter Newlinds with David Brewster
Foreword: Tim Lane
Format: Paperback - 256 pages, 215mm x 152mm
Illustrations: Black & White with 8-Page Colour
Published: 1 August 2018
Author Peter Newlinds
Peter Newlinds grew up on the northern fringes of Sydney, and like so many kids growing up in the sixties and seventies, his love of sport was fired by listening and watching commentators who are now legends of the Australian sports media industry.
Icons like Alan MacGilvray calling cricket on the ABC, Frank Hyde doing rugby league on 2SM, Rex Mossop dominating his kingdom on Channel 7, and the 'Big Match' beaming in games from atmosphere-laden soccer stadiums in England.
Peter even watched VFL games from suburban Melbourne! His spare time was spent devouring rugby league magazines and trading footy cards.
During a routine meeting in late high school to determine where he would best spend two weeks of work experience, Peter had a simple epiphany: ‘Why not go to work where the best sport is played?”
An imaginative letter to the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust lead to an offer of two weeks’ work experience, which later converted to a sports-mad teenager’s dream job, working the numbers inside the majestic edifice of the SCG scoreboard.
A keen amateur cricketer, Peter packed his bags and bat in early 1986 and spent two summers playing the game in and around South Eastern England.
On his return home, with the small matter of a career to consider, he found the perfect combination of his two passions: radio and cricket.
From the littlest things - big things do actually grow and through persistence, dedication and a great desire to be part of a great national sporting and broadcasting institution, Peter worked his way patiently around the grounds before spending 18 wonderful, event-filled years at ABC Grandstand watching and commentating on a passing parade of stars and personalities, many who (unlike Peter himself) became household names.
Peter lives in Hobart with his family. This is his first book.
Extract from Around The Grounds...
‘John Dyson’s catch’.
Those three words, mentioned to anyone who was a cricket fan in the 1980s, will bring back immediate memories.
It was January 5, 1982, the fourth day of the second test between Australia and the West Indies.
Deep into the West Indies’ second innings, Bruce Yardley was bowling from the Randwick end to number nine batsman Sylvester Clarke.
Swinging across the line, the muscle-bound Barbadian connected with the ball very cleanly, sending it high and long towards the deep mid-wicket boundary.
Time froze as everyone – the players, the crowd and the television audience – waited and watched as the ball traced its arc.
Standing about thirty metres in from the fence, Australian opener John Dyson found himself tracking the flight of the ball closer than anybody, hoping for a catch rather than a six.
He back-pedalled, light footedly scattering a group of seagulls as he went.
Realising he was too far out of position to reach the ball in an orthodox manner, he threw himself backwards and slightly sideways with the flight of the ball, arms and body at full stretch … then at even fuller stretch.
Completely airborne, he caught the ball cleanly with both hands then softened his fall with a perfectly executed gymnast’s roll, the catch secure.
A combination of relief and disbelief was clear on his face as he rolled over and lay for a few moments face down on the turf.
Then he stood, gathered his cap and ran to join his ecstatic teammates while the SCG crowd, needless to say, went wild.
Dyson’s grab would come to be called the ‘catch of the century’ and even all these years later, with all the enormous advances in fielding skills, it stands out as a catch for the ages.
It was a singularly remarkable combination of judgement, timing and skill of a type unique to the game of cricket.
I was at the SCG on that day, and I like to think that I remember that grab as vividly as anyone who was there (players included).
That’s because I had an extra-special view of it: Dyson’s classic took place right in front of the SCG’s wonderful old sentinel – its scoreboard – and I, a 15-year-old getting paid to witness history, was inside...
“I’m sorry I’m late. I’m here for work experience,” I told the person who eventually answered the door, receiving an entirely blank look in reply.
“I wrote a letter,” I continued, “and they told me to start today.”
I was asked to sit down and wait; they’d sort it out. I waited.
After about 15 minutes I started to think I would probably need to turn around and go all the way home, but finally a nice bloke called Graham came out – I remember he was wearing a ‘Legalise Marijuana’ t-shirt – and took me under his wing.
He took me around to the tearoom, in which sat a bunch of true-blue working men.
Cigarette smoke hazed the room, Playboy magazines lay casually spread about the tables and a level of language filled the air that, well, was not quite what my 15-year-old ears were used to.
There was a bundy clock on the wall with a racks for time cards on either side.
It was a far cry from my north shore private school, but I lapped it up. It felt real.