Packer's World Series Cricket Bat

By Bradman Museum & International Cricket Hall of Fame

"You probably don't know how much I'm going to treasure this; it's got to be the world's most expensive cricket bat. I've put $2.9 million into this bat and you guys, and I want to thank every one of you! It will never leave my side." Kerry Packer

Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket Bat (1978) by Gray Nicolls. On loan, Packer family and Consolidated Press Holdings Ltd.Bradman Museum & International Cricket Hall of Fame

Kerry Packer

A strong case can be made that the late Australian media magnate Kerry Packer was the most influential non-player in the history of Australian cricket.

Through World Series Cricket (WSC), he made cricket exciting content for broadcasting, accelerating the growth of player payments for which the generations of international cricketers since 1977 are eternally grateful.

Many of the sport’s most significant advancements had their genesis in the ‘Packer Revolution’, including night cricket, coloured clothing and high-quality television coverage. One-day international cricket wasn’t truly accepted in Australia until Kerry Packer promoted it.

This bat exhibits the signatures of the players and administrators of the first season of World Series Cricket. The 1977/78 season was viewed as a failure and many believed WSC would not return for a second season, but Packer persisted gaining the rights to play matches at the traditional Sydney Cricket Ground.

The turning point came on 28 November, 1978 when the first Day/Night match was played at the Sydney Cricket Ground to a full stadium. WSC went from strength to strength from that day on, changing the face of cricket.

The Packer Bat

This is Kerry Packer's own 1977/78 1st season signed bat, gifted to him by then players and administrators from World Series Cricket, at the end of the successful series.

The bat was kept under lock and key by Kerry Packer until his death in 2005.

The Signatures:

West Indies XI: Clive Lloyd, Deryck Murray, Roy Fredericks, Lawrence Rowe, Joel Garner, Bernard Julien, Collis King, Michael Holding, David Holford, Andy Roberts, Wayne Daniel, Jim Allen, Albert Padmore.

Australian XI: Ian Chappell, Greg Chappell, Ray Bright, Rod Marsh, Wayne Prior, Mick Malone, Ian Davis, Kerry O'Keeffe, Len Pascoe, Bruce Laird, Rob Langer, Doug Walters, Martin Kent, Trevor Chappell, Max Walker, Rick McCosker, Ross Edwards, Gary Gilmour.

World XI: Tony Greig, Eddie Barlow, John Snow, Mike Proctor, Zaheer Abbas, Derek Underwood, Barry Richards, Bob Woolmer, Sarfraz Narwaz, Majid Khan, Asif Iqbal, Allan Knott, Imran Khan, Dennis Amiss.

Administrators: Kerry Packer, Austin Robertson, Richie Benaud, John Cornell, Bill Lawry, Keith Stackpole.

This bat has been generously loaned to the Bradman Museum by the Packer family, and is on display in the World Series Cricket Gallery, Bradman Museum.

World Series Cricket and McDonalds (1978/1979) by Viv Jenkins, Bradman Museum CollectionBradman Museum & International Cricket Hall of Fame

"You probably don't know how much I'm going to treasure this; it's got to be the world's most expensive cricket bat. I've put $2.9 million into this bat and you guys, and I want to thank every one of you! It will never leave my side." Kerry Packer

Credits: Story

Bradman Museum © 2019

Objects and Images:
On loan Packer family and Consolidated Press Holdings Ltd.

Kerry Packer signed World Series Cricket Bat: Capture by Google Art Cam 2018.

World Series Cricket photograph. Viv Jenkins Collection. Bradman Museum.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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