Foreword to William Smith's Australia Revisited


I am pleased to write a few words to introduce Bill Smith and this unusual account of his last epic journey to Australia at a time when England's cricketers were once again losing the Ashes.


It is a mingled yarn, telling us a little bit about his own journey and a good deal of what was going on in the wider world at the same time. He has distilled many newspaper reports, all of which bring back the details of events in the winter of 2002/3 that have quickly been forgotten.


This is a labour of love by a remarkable man. I first met Bill at a cricket match and have been his friend since he asked me to the home in Buckinghamshire where he lived with many others who, like himself, were more or less incapacitated by cerebral palsy. For Bill the handicap with which he was born has always been a challenge to be overcome. Despite it he has intrepidly moved into his own house, lived a completely independent life, painted some lovely pictures and written many thousands of words on his specially adapted computer at home.


His determination and willpower are legendary amongst those who know him. To have contemplated an air journey to Alderney, let alone Australia, would have been beyond the scope of most in his position. But once he has a goal he goes for it like Jonny Wilkinson or David Beckham at their best. This was Tiger Bill's second journey from one side of the world to the other and he took it in his stride, just as he always does.


I hope you enjoy his story.


Christopher Martin-Jenkins

(Chief Cricket Correspondent for the Times Newspaper)