Ephemera

Jumper’s for goalposts. It’s the most hackneyed of sporting clichés but it aptly sums up the simplicity of Football. All one needs are a ball and four items to delineate the goals and away everyone goes. An impromptu game can begin with barely a whiff of difficulty and complication or require the sporting equivalent of... Continue Reading →

Still the Best Loved Game? Book Review

Cricket Agonistes. Again. No genre of any sport maintains a sense of existential angst like English cricket. Such is the navel gazing, mea culpa, apologising for its own existence nature of the higher levels of the domestic game that English cricket seems to be perpetually finding ways to change rather than accepting the magnificence of... Continue Reading →

Reminiscence Reprised

The journey from Sabina Park in Jamaica to the Rose Bowl near Southampton is understandably considerable. Not just in terms of the mileage across the Atlantic Ocean but also from a metaphorical perspective and a meteorological equivalent. Seven weeks after their famous victory over Pakistan in the 2007 Cricket World Cup the cricketers representing Ireland... Continue Reading →

The Festive Soul of English Cricket Book Review

Outground cricket possesses its very own, unique niche in English domestic cricket. Perhaps it is the symbiosis between the countryside and cricket in England, perhaps it is the more intimate atmosphere of an outground, away from the concrete dominated county headquarters. Perhaps it is the sense of novelty and frivolity; the titans of the county... Continue Reading →

Keeping Up Book Review

By the age of 29 many professional sports men / women are enjoying what are deemed the peak years of their career. They have emerged from the precocious, greenhorn early years of their career when the latent talent begins to soar but is very much unpolished. They have arguably found their niche in their chosen... Continue Reading →

Faded Charms Part Two

Sixes as an event: Deep in the bowels of the brilliant tome Ruling the World, author Jonathan Northall’s account of the 1992 World Cup, the list of statistics highlight that New Zealander Mark Greatbatch was the tournament leader in striking thirteen sixes. The next highest was just half a dozen. Indeed, across the thirty-nine matches... Continue Reading →

Velocity

Sport in the twenty-first century seems to be at something of a crossroads. For in excess of a hundred years the games were played year after year with little change to the accepted standards, either required or desired. Sports were the great portmanteau of exercise, community and distraction from everyday life, the weekend escapes to... Continue Reading →

Faded Charms Part One

Initials on television scorecards: Upon first discovering cricket as a young boy at the tail end of the tumultuous 1980’s (from an English cricket perspective) there was one aspect of the BBC television coverage that proved intriguing. Whenever a scorecard appeared on the screen each player’s name appeared in a curious manner: GA Gooch, RA Smith,... Continue Reading →

Cricket Agonistes Part Two

The recent announcement of the county cricket fixtures for the 2020 season predictably provoked much consternation and comment. Chief amongst the rather censorious barbs was the amount of Championship matches played at the extremes of the season and the yawning chasm during the second half of July and all of August that will only be... Continue Reading →

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