For Those Who Wait – The Barry Jarman Story

The biography “For Those Who Wait – The Barry Jarman Story” is not only a loving portrayal of its subject, a man who captained Australia in one Test match, but also of a time when suburban heroes ruled the world of every young man who loved his sport.

Barry Nicholls has crafted a beautiful read, full of wonderful, sometimes previously unpublished, tales about life on the international cricket circuit and in metropolitan South Australia.

With the proliferation of sporting books available to the interested reader, it is a wonder that a book about Barry Jarman has taken this long to be released, especially given his other roles as influential businessman and sports administrator.

It is wonderful that the delay allowed someone like Nicholls, who knew Jarman after his Test career had been completed but who also knows the context of South Australian history, to be the purveyor of the story.

The book starts beautifully with a vignette about a young man and his grandfather – one that is timeless in its telling.

It finishes with Jarman thinking about what might have been, another tale that so many of us can understand, if he’d been born at a different time and a roadblock named Wally Grout had not stalled his path.

In between there are tales of growing up in the western suburbs, playing with icons such as Garry Sobers, Richie Benaud and Ian Chappell, some fresh tales from the road on tours of England, India, Pakistan and other glamourous (or not so) locales and the role that SANFL and district cricket played in bringing communities together.

Nicholls’ understated writing doesn’t gloss up the edges as many modern sporting biographies do and there are some very candid moments from Jarman and some of his peers.

The Jarman name is synonymous in South Australian sport, through football, cricket and sports stores (across various generations and
businesses) and Nicholls has truly captured what that name represents to a generation of cricket fans and reminds us of a time when quiet dignity was an asset in life.

An enjoyable read, not just for the cricket tales but also the social history that accompanies the Jarman story. It’s fair to say Nicholls’ effort is as Gooda’s Gold.

Rob McLean is the editor of grassroots cricket site

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