LORD SPEAKS: My clash with Kerry Packer over World Series Cricket

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    40 years ago cricket was revolutionised by Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket. Roar expert David Lord was heavily involved and it ended in a spat with Packer over the management of players.

    Lord was the first man to interview Packer when the news of his breakaway competition arrived, but chief of staff Bob Johnson decided the interview would never go to air, and for Lord, his relationship with Packer fell apart.

    “He called me in first which I couldn’t understand because there were Channel 9 people there. I spent 90 minutes with him – three reels of 30 minutes each,” said Lord.

    But upon being told his network wouldn’t be promoting a rival’s network, Lord pointed out that this was the biggest cricket story to break since Bodyline.

    Packer was never able to speak to Lord before the news that night.

    “I went from being no.1 boy in the morning to public enemy no.1 by that evening and from that point on, we were clashing,” said Lord.

    “Believe me. Being on the wrong side of Kerry Packer isn’t pleasant.”

    Lord also speaks about issues dealing with Jeff Thompson, the high court case in England, the following Ashes Tour, as well as the Australian and English media match and being on the wrong side of Kerry Packer.

    Check out Lord’s full story on World Series Cricket in the video player above.

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    The Crowd Says (10)

    • Roar Guru

      June 14th 2017 @ 7:34am
      sheek said | June 14th 2017 @ 7:34am | ! Report

      Great stuff Lordy!

      I’m privileged to have heard most of this first hand from you previously.

      I wa also a Thommo fan & very unhappy he wasn’t with his mates in WSC.

      He got there eventually on the 1979 Windies tour just before peace was declared.

      They were great, if tumultuous days.

      • June 14th 2017 @ 12:16pm
        Pope Paul VII said | June 14th 2017 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

        Being too young to really comprehend what WSC was about I was delighted to follow 2 test teams. Still have a soft spot for the establishment teams battle against the odds. Seems we are back to the same spot.

        • Roar Guru

          June 14th 2017 @ 3:59pm
          sheek said | June 14th 2017 @ 3:59pm | ! Report


          Basically by the 70s test cricketers were touring & receiving a tour every year. Every year.

          They were being asked to play cricket about 7 months out of 12.

          Rod Marsh & Greg Chappell both played 57 internationals 1970-77. That’s about 7 per year. Of course, they average about 9 per year these days but they’re also full-time professionals.

          Marsh’s 57 internationals was made up of 52 official tests & 5 Rest of the World matches. Chappell’s 57 internationals was made up of 51 official tests, 3 ROW matches & 3 B tests against NZ test team in early 1970.

          This being the era of semi-professionalism, made the players extremely unattractive from an employment viewpoint.

          The money earned from test & state cricket was inadequate to sustain a full-time career, unless you also played County cricket, which only a few Aussies did.

          The old-timers didn’t understand or appreciate this, believing the honour of playing for your country was more important than anything else.

          For example, in early 1968 Bobby Simpson had just turned 32, was Australian captain & in the prime of his life. But he had a young family to feed & sustain.

          I can’t remember the exact dollar figures but he was offered something like 10 times his tour fee to report on the upcoming Ashes tour as a reporter.

          It was a no-brainer decision for him & he promptly retired & went to England as a private journalist.

          Of course, Simpson returned a decade later to captain Australia’s fractured establishment team in two series.

          Basically the administrators failed to appreciate the changing times & were in any case just too stingy. The scene was ripe for revolution & that’s why WSC happened.

    • June 14th 2017 @ 11:41am
      Just a bloke said | June 14th 2017 @ 11:41am | ! Report

      This will be a series to look forward to. Well edited video!

    • June 14th 2017 @ 2:52pm
      Griffo said | June 14th 2017 @ 2:52pm | ! Report

      Good story. Kerry Packer strikes me as a little bit spiteful. This bloke sounds a bit like Frosty Lahood.

      • June 15th 2017 @ 10:07am
        Johnno said | June 15th 2017 @ 10:07am | ! Report

        I agree, he seems to have a fragile ego, he hid behind his money as his power but you take money away he was someone maybe not with low self esteem but not a dominant man that he projected coz of his money and anyone who stood up to him he often didn’t like or would push away, so in the end he would surround himself with yes men a lot of the time.

    • Roar Pro

      June 14th 2017 @ 4:53pm
      Rafiqul Ameer said | June 14th 2017 @ 4:53pm | ! Report

      For better or for worse, Kerry Packer changed Cricket forever.

    • June 14th 2017 @ 6:07pm
      John Bay said | June 14th 2017 @ 6:07pm | ! Report

      Well done keep writing about Australia’s sporting history, only you know the great yarns and characters who made Aussie sport what it is today. You should write/record/produce a weekly history piece so your readers get to know the glory days and dare I say the ‘Controversy Corner’ stories before sport became muzzled by managers and sporting officials.

    • June 14th 2017 @ 11:51pm
      Sergey Lavrov said | June 14th 2017 @ 11:51pm | ! Report

      Well Ch 9 got the tv rights to cricket from the ABC where it was FTA and had no ads which is the true story. As if ABC wouldn’t have improved the coverage throughout the 80s to cutting edge. Ch. 9 is great at blowing up its own tires, but they ripped their coverage off US baseball. Nothing original about it. And the famous WWOS jingle is Brian Bennett’s NFL music composition. Amazing what a little digging on the internet shows up these days.

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