CategoryNostalgia

RIP Mr J

Today Peter Drake remembers a special cricket coach from his youth. Did you have an inspirational coach? And what made him or her unique? Feel free to share you own tales in the comments. Those of us whose age long ago exceeded their batting average (and will soon be equal to our highest score) will remember him well; he was the cricket coach, common in the sixties, seventies and eighties, whose tireless efforts created, nurtured and cemented the love of the game that has, in my case at any...

Safe Hands: The Wicket-Keepers of Kent

Wicket keeper is the most peculiar of field positions with the incumbent trapped in gloves and pads for the duration of a match. A functionary with a multiple brief who often has to stop things from happening.  They gather the best and worst deliveries unleashed by bowlers; prevent leg byes, overthrows and any other brain fade that might result in additional runs being conceded. A good wicket keeper could easily save his team 30 runs an innings, but it’s far from being the only string on...

Javagal Srinath: Fastest in a billion

On 25th June 1932, India became the sixth team to be granted test cricket status. From there it took 20 years for India to register their first test victory. Even though India had no problems finding good batsmen or even competent spinners, their problem with fast bowlers during the British colonialism of India was that they only had two: Shaikh Mohammad Nissar and Amar Singh. Both of them were outstanding when they went to England and within the first 20 minutes of the first test, they made...

At Least We Have Our Memories

I have a small selection of old photographs on the wall adjacent to where I am sat now. Below them are old magazine articles pinned onto a corkboard; stuff I have cobbled together whilst chasing a quasi-secondary career as a freelance journalist. Underneath them are trophies, mainly from the 90s and early 2000s. The whole lot of them are worth less than the loose change shoehorned behind your average sofa. But they retain an inextricable link to those photographs, their memories perfectly...

A Happy Accident: The Birth of the ODI

For all its unbridled beauty cricket has always been susceptible to changes in the weather. The first hint of rain would have groundsmen scrambling to cover the wicket. In a bygone era something called bad light might also stop play. Although frustrating for the players it meant fans could adjourn to the bar that much earlier. This unpredictability would often reduce the length of games but inadvertently laid the basic foundation of the one day game. Whilst an intemperate climate might have...

The Eloquence of Pauses: Rahul Dravid’s 148 at Headlingley

With India scheduled to play five Tests in England next month, here is my recollection of Rahul Dravid’s 148 in the Headingley Test of 2002.    In August 2002, as a Chennai lad living in a musty-smelling hostel in Bengaluru (then Bangalore), I had taken to wandering the old streets of the city, hoping somehow to find a slice of home that would, if only temporarily, press the ‘snooze button’ on my growing homesickness. During one of those walks, I stopped almost automatically in front...

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