The Duckworth Lewis Method

St George’s in Kemp Town is a funny venue – the toilets are not only outside, but down in the basement – especially for a blasphemous Irishman, but the sound isn’t as bad as it could have been, the sightlines reasonable.

The support was, er … well, let’s just say when he crossed the stage after he was done I was glad he was only going to get his drink, and not play another song.

Then, with the opening bars of Soul Limbo, it began. Continue reading


Parkinson’s is a strange condition, in some ways it’s best described as a ‘but more so’ disease. It’s like getting older, earlier, but more so. It’s like being stiff after vigorous exercise, but more so. It’s like being drunk, but more so … it’s like being alive, but more so. Don’t worry, I’m not about to take the path of ‘it’s the best thing that ever happened to me’ least resistance, as if praising it could make it better. It’s shit. Utter shit. But I can, and will, suggest that it amplifies life in certain strange ways, and the way in which it goes about its business can be instructive. It does micro/macro exceptionally well, because with Parkinson’s, little things can have wide-ranging consequences. Continue reading

One for the scorebook

The scorebook is something of a sacred object in cricket, a fetish, even. It records without prejudice the bare facts of an innings, its degree of accuracy dependant entirely on the skill and attention to detail of the scorer who wields the pencil. Many club scorers are women, imitating early modern publishers’ wives such as Sarah Griffin who kept the order books spic and span while their less literate husbands got on with the messy grunt of moveable type. Continue reading

Cricket, charity, and stepping up to the plate

I’m not particularly comfortable with, or good at, asking people for money. Last year, when I switched to batting left-handed and asked for sponsorship, the smart money was on a very small runs tally. The smart money doesn’t always win. It began unravelling for my various sponsors during my first innings, in which I scored 40 not out. Though the next few languished in single figures, the die was cast, and this, coupled with an insane quantity of games played, meant that the amount pledged racked up. Naturally, an amount failed to be given in, but this was due to my refusing to accept money until the season’s runs were scored. Continue reading

In my shoes

in my shoes

Cricket is a passion, and these are my as-yet unworn ‘season of 2013’ shoes. In these I will be travelling the country, playing cricket in country houses to write The Country House Cricketer, the proceeds of which will go directly to funding research into Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s is already affecting my game, but that just forces me to think of new ways to get round it, to frustrate this most frustrating of conditions. It’ll win, yes … but I’ll give it a damn good run for its money.

On Talent

Andrew Bloxham wrote an interesting piece in the huffington post.

I refuse to post a comment because I won’t allow HuffPost to update my tweets. Plus I bet Andrew posted for free (for this issue see Press Gazette on interns).

I would have posted this:

There is a point here with regards what leads to success in the game itself. Whether a natural ability to work hard and eliminate the shots which lead to one’s downfall can be considered talent is difficult to judge.
I think that in this area talent is, and should remain, true to the dictionary definition, namely ‘natural aptitude or skill’, with emphasis on the natural. It’s same in music, where some sublimely gifted players never make it because the game of the music business starts with talent … but ends with hard work, grit, application and so forth.
In the examples you pick here, notably the current test captain, you are talking about Test cricket as  specific game for which he seems preternaturally gifted … but that’s a different argument altogether (though you’re patently correct).

Lies, damned lies, and … hang on …

So, the season is drawing to a blustery close, and in my 38th innings (I know, I have truly gorged myself on cricket this year) I hit the heady heights of 400 runs. I ought to be pleased, really, considering I started by batting left-handed (and with only the right-hand available for use), a total switch of styles. Of these 38 innings, four involved me actively switching from left to right-handed after 18 runs or so. The idea was that I got my eye in left-handed, then went on the attack right-handed. I had observed that I was more difficult to get out left-handed, but scored more freely right-handed. Continue reading