Year of the batsman: when the sun shone and the runs flowed in 1990

A new ball, sweltering heat and some weak bowling produced record-breaking scores in the County Championship

By Jo Harman for Wisden Cricket Monthly

Temperatures and tempers were rising in the spring of 1990. Thousands rioted on the streets in protest at the poll tax in April, as Margaret Thatcher’s iron grip on power loosened. By late November the prime minister was gone, Geoffrey Howe’s resignation speech in the Commons proving to be the final nail in the coffin.

“It is rather like sending your opening batsmen to the crease only for them to find, the moment the first balls are bowled, that their bats have been broken before the game by the team captain,” said the former chancellor, referring to Thatcher’s attitude towards British negotiations in Europe.

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