Talk:Adelaide leak

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GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Adelaide leak/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Mkativerata (talk) 20:46, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Just starting the review now. --Mkativerata (talk) 20:46, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

All looks good - only little comments. I should note that I haven't checked sources, I don't have ready access to any of them. --Mkativerata (talk) 21:36, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Comments on the first couple of sections are below, the rest will follow:


  • I wonder if "Test" might not be best wikilinked to Test cricket, thus removing the need to wikilink it (or even mention "Test") in the following sentence. Ordinarily I wouldn't think it necessary but the first sentence doesn't mention cricket at all so the wikilink might help contextualise the article.
Done. --Sarastro1 (talk) 21:06, 16 December 2010 (UTC)


I wonder whether there could be opportunities to pare down this section a bit. At this stage, one has to go more than halfway through the article's prose before hitting the subject matter, being the leak. On the other hand, I do recognise the importance of setting out the involvement of all the key actors (Wooffull, Bradman, Fingleton, Warner, Jardine, etc).

Hmmm... I may be able to trim some, but I do think that a substantial background is needed or the leak doesn't make any sense except "Oh, really? So what?" I think context is needed to show how big a deal it was. However, let me know if you consider anything superfluous. --Sarastro1 (talk) 21:13, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
I thought that might be the case. It could probably only be done by losing a sentence or half-sentence here and there so might not make much difference. I'll leave it to you.--Mkativerata (talk) 18:47, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
  • "cricket ball" - is there any need for "cricket"?
  • "Jardine's appointment" - it might be good to clarify what the appointment was, the only mention of Jardine previously being that he "led" the English team, from which it isn't explicitly clear that he was the captain.
  • "Yorkshire bowler Bill Bowes who had also tried similar tactics at the end of the season, and in one match had bowled short at Jack Hobbs." This sentence seems to be missing something.
  • "...was highly critical of Bowes and the other Yorkshire bowlers." - what was the basis of the criticism?
  • ...and he may have met senior batsmen Wally Hammond and Herbert Sutcliffe." - what's the purpose of this, surely he met his own batsmen on a long see voyage? If it was to discuss Bodyline tactics like they were being discussed with Larwood, it could be made clearer.
  • "Meanwhile, Woodfull, was being encouraged" - I don't think the second comma is warranted.
All done. --Sarastro1 (talk) 21:13, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Warner–Woodfull incident[edit]

  • "Although the comment was aimed at unnerving Bradman" - wouldn't Bradman have been sitting in the dressing room at the time?
He was batting, which wasn't clear. Changed now. --Sarastro1 (talk) 13:33, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
  • "According to the original newspaper reports and Fingleton's later account, Woodfull was lying on the masseur's table, awaiting treatment from a doctor, although this may have been an exaggeration to increase the drama of the account, and Leo O'Brien described Woodfull as wearing a towel around his waist, having showered." Breaking this sentence in two might help readibility, but up to you.
Agree, done. --Sarastro1 (talk) 13:33, 18 December 2010 (UTC)


  • This section is great - very interesting reading with clear prose.
  • I think Wisden ought to be wikilinked.
Done. --Sarastro1 (talk) 13:37, 18 December 2010 (UTC)


  • All public domain.


  • Fully covers the incident and provides sufficient contextul background and commentary on the aftermath.

Factually accurate and verifiable[edit]

  • I don't have access to any of the offline sources, but all parts of the article are sourced to apparently reliable sources. I've checked the couple of accessible references and they both fully support the content of the article from which the sources are cited.


  • Thankfully Bradman and Fingleton's families haven't edit-warred over the article.

Minor issues[edit]

  • Is there any reason the article title is "Adelaide leak" but the first sentence treats it as a proper noun?
  • A couple of the captions have full stops/periods but they aren't complete sentences (not a GA issue though).
  • The lead could probably be split into two paragraphs. I'd suggest "Many people at the time" but I'll leave it up to you whether to split it (it's not a GA issue).
All done. --Sarastro1 (talk) 13:40, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Cheers --Mkativerata (talk) 18:47, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

  • All done now hopefully, and thanks for the review. --Sarastro1 (talk) 13:40, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done Passed, thanks. --Mkativerata (talk) 19:06, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Bradman and Firth or Mant[edit]

It sounds like Bradman died before Firth published his book. But did Firth or Mant ever ask Bradman about the info from Helen? Also is the timeline right? It sounds like Corbett died in 1944 and Fingleton in 1978 first said Bradman was the source. But then Bradman with Michael Page made a deal out of the fact the accusation only came after Corbett's death (when he could no longer dispute the claim) even if specifically it was ~34 years after that death (which to me anyway, makes it seem less dubious then if it was held for 40 years and then revealed a year after the only other person who definitely knew died). Nil Einne (talk) 22:19, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

The source does not say if either Frith or Mant spoke to Bradman over the info from Corbett, but IMO it is unlikely: Mant specifically asked Frith not to reveal details while Bradman was still alive. I'm not quite sure what you mean about the timeline. I've added a note that Mant investigated in the mid-90s, which was not quite clear originally. Fingo claimed Corbett told him while they worked together as journalists; he revealed his version in '78, pretty much out of the blue and for no obvious reason. Bradman's rebuttal followed, and then the Mant story only came out in Frith's book. I've added a bit more to hopefully clarify this. --Sarastro1 (talk) 17:01, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Duplication of Bodyline?[edit]

A huge amount of this article just rehashes what is in the bodyline article - can they not be merged, or can this article be cut back so it focuses more on the leak? Interplanet Janet (talk) 07:56, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

I'm afraid I have to disagree. Saying a "huge amount" is a little melodramatic. At most, two paragraphs are similar, but they are required to give the leak some context. If it began with the leak, it would make little sense, and the reader should not have to read the Bodyline article to understand this one. In addition, this introduction gives more focus to Warner and Woodfull than the main article ever could or should. Sarastro1 (talk) 09:42, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
It's more than two paragraphs - the whole of the background and aftermath sections at least are all about bodyline itself rather than the leak. I understand the need for context, but more than half the article is context. Interplanet Janet (talk) 10:44, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
But it is not repeating the Bodyline article, which is what you originally said. And even if it is about "Bodyline", it is directly concerned with the people involved in the leak, what they did and why. To take the background section: Paragraph 1 is a general introduction. Para 2 concerns experimenting with the tactics and Warner's disapproval of the method (crucial to understanding one aspect of the leak). Para 3 is more background to the use of the tactics and, again, Warner's reaction and disagreement with Jardine. Next paragraph is about Bradman, and his state of mind in the series, and again crucially, his poor relationship with Fingleton. The last paragraph is about the first two Tests, to set up the events of the third. The next section is the Warner-Woodfull incident. In all literature on Bodyline, this "incident" is part of the leak, not a separate event. So all this section is not context, it is a direct part of the events which have become known as the Adelaide Leak. All of this is fully reflected in the sources and none of it is just padding. It is all part of the "story". Sarastro1 (talk) 17:07, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Please see WP:SIZE, particularly the section on splitting. --Dweller (talk) 19:39, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

I disagree. How can anyone understand the importance of this incident if they don't understand the context? As someone unfamiliar with cricket, I think the article needs more explanation of what bodyline is and the controversy surrounding it. As it stands now, I don't really get it. Kaldari (talk) 18:28, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Leg-theory bowling was a legal and viable form of bowling, that FE Root first developed in 1910/11. The Australians had used it too, their complaint as such was that in Larwood & Voce, the MCC (not England) had 2 bowlers fast and accurate enough to use it effectively. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:56, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Wrong state[edit]

"From their first meeting while playing together for Victoria"

Surely this should be NSW? Neither of the two (Bradman or Fingleton) played for Victoria. Tigerman2005 (talk) 00:39, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Correct, much obliged for spotting that one. Now fixed. Sarastro1 (talk) 00:56, 14 January 2013 (UTC)


This is by far the most interesting and unexpected FA I have ever come across. Kudos, not just to those who contributed, but to those who pushed it through the queue to appear on the Main Page. (talk) 03:54, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

I dont get it[edit]

I dont understand why this is significant and why a big deal was made. All because Woodfull rudely responded and "disrespected"(if you even want to call it that) Warner? A big deal was made because of this????? I read about worst things daily in the sports column. I dont get why such a big deal was made over such an insignificant incident. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:54, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Agreed. This is the latest in a series of articles that have appeared as the Featured Article of the day about utterly minor incidents that are simply one padded-out facet of a much wider issue (in this case, the Bodyline series) and to which WP has ascribed an invented name that is not in use out in the real world. Virtually no one else appears to call this "the Adelaide leak" from what I can tell after having to wade through Google results listing loads of directory entries for South Australian plumbers and WP-reprint books. Even reading the article, only about 20% of it is about the "leak" itself, which, looking at the footnotes, seems to be an incident covered across about four or five pages of one very detailed detailed 500-page book. The rest of the entry here is background about, er, the Bodyline series and its aftermath, which of course has its own page. This should be but a brief mention within that page and the article should have been merged with it as soon as it was created. N-HH talk/edits 09:56, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
This happened 80 years ago, when such events were totally unheard of. Back then, it really was a huge deal. GurraJG (talk) 10:05, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
But how exactly does it mean that it needs its own WP page, let alone to be TFA? Whether you or I think it was a big deal, in terms of being unusual for the time, or not is neither here nor there: for articles here, we need evidence of notability. AFAICT, this incident is usually discussed as one aspect of the Bodyline series, a widely reported on and written about issue. It is not known as the "Adelaide leak" and it is not written about as a discrete topic in its own right. Looking up the talk page, it seems I'm not the only one asking questions about these problems. N-HH talk/edits 10:26, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

I don't understand how it managed to get FA. When i first accessed the article, I was expecting it to mention how the guy got hit in the heart, went to the dressing room and passed away from the hit, and not a whole journalist uproar. It is the weirdest article I've ever seen.--Mjs1991 (talk) 10:35, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

A few replies. I'm impressed that you are so familiar with cricket and "Bodyline" literature that you can state "virtually no one else appears to call this" by this title. On the contrary, most books on the subject call it this; I could give a direct ref if required. Google does not have all the answers, I'm afraid, and the books establish notability. The article, if you read it, hopefully explains why it is a big deal. It was the leak which was unprecedented. I replied above on the "one aspect" idea: that everything here directly concerns the leak or the people associated. On whether it should be a FA or TFA, the pages to address this were at WP:FAC or WP:TFAR. Sarastro1 (talk) 11:41, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
That's why I said no one appears to call it this, and why I used the acronym for "as far as I can tell" subsequently. Nor did I say that Google has all the answers. I'm just suggesting that, prima facie, the evidence is pretty weak. I did also go a bit further than that and try to work out where in the Frith book this is all sourced to (I do not have access to the contents and never claimed to). As noted, it appears to be a run of a few pages. If you could quote me where it is afforded the title "the Adelaide leak", that would be helpful and would be the first small step on the road to being an actual rebuttal of anything I've said as opposed to vague justifications (I'd argue we'd need more than one use of the term in one book anyway). And, as per my response to GurraJG, individual editor assertions that something is "unprecedented" or "unheard of" is not what WP notability is about. I still haven't seen any WP policy- or evidence-based argument as to why this is anything other than a paragraph in the main Bodyline article, and/or in the individual articles of the people involved, as opposed to a discrete, notable topic in its own right, which is known by this name. Looking at the Bodyline article, I see that such a para already exists. Why do we have this article too, with all its repeated and duplicated background material, which is also in the Bodyline article? As for making FA and TFA, this merely reveals the apparent flaws in the processes. N-HH talk/edits 11:52, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
In Frith's Bodyline book, he states the event "has become known as the Adelaide Leak", I think on p 187 (I don't have the exact page to hand, but this issue came up at peer review). Frith is the expert on this. There are other references too, but I don't have access at the moment. The unprecedented idea also comes from the sources, as cited in the article. Sarastro1 (talk) 12:26, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
The page number is p. 185 of Frith. He also calls the whole affair the Warner-Woodfull exchange/affair (pp. 185-6). Jack Fingleton in Cricket Crisis uses "Warner-Woodfull Incident" (pp. 20, 103). All refer to the same set of incidents. For a time, using the "Warner-Woodfull" name as a title was considered by a few editors, but I think "Adelaide leak" is more descriptive of the whole affair. Other writers refer to it as the "leak" (Fingleton (1981), p 108, and Frith quotes a few others using the term with or without capitalisation), and most books on the subject include a substantial number of pages on this one incident (or perhaps series of incidents), for example Douglas p. 140. Fingleton's biography by Growden has a chapter called "The Leak" (pp. 64-70). It really was a huge, huge issue, and the sources reflect this; perhaps other titles could have been used, but there is a lack of naming consistency in the written sources. Frith goes for "Adelaide Leak" and I am inclined to believe him. I suspect most cricket people familiar with the period would know what you meant if it you said the Adelaide leak. Sarastro1 (talk) 17:37, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
To quote L. P. Hartley "The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there". One day even the Lady Gaga article will seem superfluous. Thincat (talk) 14:27, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Lady who? -- DevSolar (talk) 14:40, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
When she is as famous as Walter de Coventre you'll be able to read about her on the front page. Thincat (talk) 14:59, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
The above details offer some reassurance, as does a subsequent Google search using the Warner-Woodfull term (again, I know this is not conclusive either way, but it's the obvious starting point for any brief research), but I remain sceptical about this for the reasons originally stated. I would still maintain that this would be better as a (significant) part of the main Bodyline piece, not least due to all the duplication of content that currently exists between the two pages. Anyway, despite that, I'm not actually going to propose a merge or anything and I'll quit complaining about it. N-HH talk/edits 09:45, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

N-HH, the Bodyline article is a Featured Article. Including the detail from here would cause it to fall below FA standards, as it would concentrate too much unduly on one very controversial day in a very controversial few months. As this incident has notability in and of itself, a daughter article was not only a good idea, but it's been done very well - to the extent that peers have deemed it to be of Featured quality, too. --Dweller (talk) 10:21, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Well, my point was that we have the relevant and more or less sufficient detail in the Bodyline article, and I was very much querying the independent notability of this one aspect of the Bodyline story, such that it needs to be spun off in this way and to this level of detail (and repetition). I was also querying the whole (T)FA process, based on this article, previous ones recently and even, now, today's. I'm not disputing it's a well written and interesting entry, and that the primary author deserves credit for that. The problem is the more I look at it, the FA process seems to miss the wood for the trees. It often seems to be more of a vetting process for well written solo essays on micro-aspects of genuinely notable topics, which in concept, if not in content, amount to something pretty close to original research. N-HH talk/edits 09:13, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
Your point wriggles around in a manner that is hard to respond to. This incident is independently notable. The references in the article say as much, responses on this page say as much, and it wouldn't have come close to passing FA if the reviewers hadn't thought as much. The TFA process is simply a matter of choosing an FA from the list of ones that have not yet appeared on Main Page, and is not based on any other merit than that. That FA contributors often choose to concentrate on small aspects is true, but equally, they also tackle the macro - hence Bodyline is itself an FA and I'm currently working on Cricket. Your complaint about what FA contributors choose to work on is puzzling - they're all volunteers and they work on whatever takes their fancy and more power to their elbows. If only more people contributed. Finally, accusations of OR are so off the wall, that I can't take them seriously and will treat them as hyperbole. --Dweller (talk) 10:59, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

Bodyline or bodyline[edit]

An editor has twice changed all the instances of "Bodyline" to "bodyline". I have reverted for a second time, but will not do so again and would prefer to discuss here. Just as a quick guide, we have Bodyline, Bodyline and Bodyline] on the internet, and in Frith's book, he capitalises, as does Fingleton in 1946 (but not in 1981). Douglas uses "bodyline". At the very least, there is no right answer and I would prefer "Bodyline", but I am happy to discuss and if anyone reverts, I will not touch it. It's not really that big a deal, and I don't think we need one of those odd capitalisation debates that happen from time to time! Sarastro1 (talk) 17:52, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

The Bodyline article uses "bodyline", as do almost all of the books I've consulted. Fundamentally, in phrases such as "bodyline bowling", "bodyline" is being used as an adjective, not a proper noun, and therefore ought not to be capitalised. George Ponderevo (talk) 18:15, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
I'd actually say it was a proper noun, to be honest. It is the name of the bowling style, not a description of it; kind of like "French cricket" in my view. But I'm not set in stone, and if others agree with you I'm happy to change it. Even the sources can't make up their mind, whatever our article on the subject says! Sarastro1 (talk) 18:20, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Well, clearly "French" would have to be capitalised in that case, but we don't capitalise "Fast bowling", so no justification for capitalising "Bodyline bowling". I'm very confident that "bodyline bowling", for instance, ought not to be capitalised, but the world won't end if the article maintains its current incorrect capitalisation, it'll just look a little odd and inconsistent. Anyway, time to see what others think. George Ponderevo (talk) 21:10, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Just one final point. For "bodyline" to be a proper noun it has to refer to a specific instance of something, in the the way that "French" refers to France, or John Smith is an instance of person. So what is the thing of which "bodyline" is a specific instance? Bowling style? If so, why aren't "fast", "slow", "spin" ... also capitalised? George Ponderevo (talk) 21:21, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

What is "bodyline"?[edit]

As someone unfamiliar with cricket, I don't understand what "bodyline" is or why it is controversial. The article explains it as bowling the "ball roughly on the line of leg stump", which means absolutely nothing to me. Without explaining what bodyline is and why it was controversial, none of the subsequent article makes sense. Per WP:JARGON: "Some topics are intrinsically technical, but editors should try to make them understandable to as many readers as possible. Minimize jargon, or at least explain it." Since Woodfull was hit with the ball, I'm guessing that bodyline means something like throwing it towards the batter's body, or throwing it in a way that it might bounce towards the batter's body. Please add some explanation so that it is clear. Thanks. Kaldari (talk) 18:18, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

According to the bodyline article, the ball is pitched "so as to rise towards the body of the batsman" and is considered "physically threatening". This would be good information to add to the background section, so that people don't have to read the bodyline article first. Kaldari (talk) 18:23, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

(edit conflict):Short of explaining what stumps are and how they are used in cricket, and what bowling is, I think that is beyond the scope of this article. Both leg stump and bodyline are linked to other articles. While I agree that jargon should be minimised, particularly in sport, I think anything further would get a little silly here and distract from the main point of the article. And to be honest, you have pretty much hit the nail on the head with your guess. The other key bits of the explanation in the article (and the key points to its importance) are "The deliveries were often short-pitched with four or five fielders close by on the leg side waiting to catch deflections off the bat. The tactics were difficult for batsmen to counter and were designed to be intimidatory." (And what fun this TFA is turning out to be!) Sarastro1 (talk) 18:26, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

I read that sentence, but it doesn't explain why the tactic is controversial. I imagine lots of pitching techniques are "difficult to counter", and stating that it's "intimidating" doesn't explain much. Why would it be silly to explain that bodyline means throwing the ball at the batter? That seems like a pretty critical piece of information. Kaldari (talk) 18:33, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Erm, throwing is not the same as bowling! Having said that, I've added your suggestion above from the Bodyline article. Sarastro1 (talk) 18:40, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Bodyline bowling was so controversial (and clever) because it was explicitly designed to place the batsman in fear of physical danger, without the ability to protect himself without risking his wicket. This is substantially different from the normal usage (which continues to this day) of fast bowling aimed at the batsman's head or chest, because the normal "bouncer" is part of a mixed bag, designed to ensure the batsman can't premeditate his shots/foot placement etc, rather than a relentless barrage. Also, because the normal bouncer is part of a mix, the fielders are not explicitly placed in such a way as to prevent the bat being used to defend the body. Hope that helps. These questions are better aimed at Talk:Bodyline, if that article is deficient, because as stated above, this article is more about the results of Bodyline bowling, than the technicalities of it. --Dweller (talk) 10:27, 15 January 2013 (UTC)