Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. Or so my wise old mum used to say. And, after nearly eleven years of writing about English cricket on this blog, sadly I think I’ve reached that point. Basically the fire has gone out and I need a break.
How long this hiatus will last I really don’t know. I might be a few weeks; it might be a few months; it might be more than that. But the truth is that I’ve been finding it harder and harder to find time for TFT. And consequently I’ve rarely been able to write my best stuff. Indeed, I hardly have time to actually watch any cricket these days let alone write about it.
So that’s the bad news. But it’s not all bad news. This isn’t the end of TFT by any means. I’ll still use the site as a platform to publish quality independent cricket writing. Indeed, I’ll be emailing our regular guest writers in the coming days to see if they fancy taking a more active role and contributing more. In fact, I should have a guest article for you later this week.
The only difference, therefore, is that you’ll be hearing less from me personally. I might pop up with the odd article if I’m in the mood but I’ll no longer be able to react to events on a day-by-day basis. The match reports, and all the regular stuff, might therefore fall by the wayside.
Instead I’m going to try and reposition TFT as a place where amateur cricket writers can reach a bigger audience. It won’t be about me (and my views); it will be about other people for a change. So who knows, this might actually lead to an improvement ;-)
I mentioned this news on Twitter last night and a few people immediately reached out to see if I was ok. Don’t worry. I’m absolutely fine. I’m just a bit fed up with cricket to be honest! It’s a weird one because cricket has always been a massive part of my life. However, for whatever reason (and I really can’t put my finger on it) I’ve just lost the motivation to watch and write about the game. TFT has become a chore. And watching cricket was beginning to feel like a job. A job on top of my actual job. And a job on top of my other job of trying to raise two young kids.
I exchanged a few Twitter DMs with Chris from Being Outside Cricket yesterday. He suggested that my enthusiasm might have waned because of everything that’s going on in the world at the moment. He could well be right.
It might also be, if I’m being honest, because I’m sick of banging my head against a brick wall as far as the ECB is concerned. The Hundred is a poorly conceived abomination, and the ECB still seems to be the cosy backslapping club it’s always been. I’m still incredulous that they actually headhunted the contrarian essayist Ed Smith to be chairman of selectors. I have zero faith in those running our amazing game. Some things in the world are becoming more progressive but English cricket most certainly is not.
Before I sign off I’d like to say a big thanks to everyone who has followed my writing over the years – especially our guest writers and those who contribute in the comments below the line. It’s been a pleasure and I really appreciate it. Please don’t go anywhere because I’ll still try to keep the blog updated when I can.
As I say, this isn’t the end of TFT. I might rediscover my cricket writing mojo in a few weeks and start polluting your screens again – in which case this will be the shortest retirement since Shahid Afridi last stepped away but found he couldn’t cope without all the attention.
However, for now I need a rest to focus on other writing projects. So I’ll leave you in the capable hands of other writers.
I wonder if Colin Graves will send me a card?
Enjoy the break, James, however long it is. And thanks for all the stuff you’ve posted up here over the years.
Hope there’s some proper test cricket for you to enjoy at some point, whether or not You get back into writing articles.
Thanks for all of your efforts over the years – it’s been a great publication. Whatever you decide to do, I hope it works out well for you.
Many thanks James, I do hope you find the energy to return when the time is right.
I am impressed how you have campaigned for first class cricket, particularly the county championship. This is a fight that must be continued for all those with the sole of the game in their hearts. Enjoy the break.
Will miss your views James, perhaps we will still see them popping up in the comments below others articles instead. Hope to see you back writing again soon because you are bloody good at it. Take care and enjoy some family time.
Good luck James, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your writings over the years and wish you well. I’m sure I’ll see you back on here at some stage .
Thanks for entertaining and informing us as well as reinforcing my prejudices against the ECB! Good luck with your other work – raising children is probably the most important ‘job’ in the world.
Thanks James. A change is as good as a rest as they say. But I know what you mean about cricket especially at present. Ok this year was ok, the Tests, BWTrophy, T20. But I like to watch it in person like many. What with doubts as to spectators even next season, I may not even renew my Surrey Membership next year after some 25 years. But I’ll review that in January before I make a decision. I don’t particularly want to give Surrey another £150 odd, what with all the problems of refunds for this year, already discussed here. But this year was all rather underwhelming for me, the lost season definitely.
So enjoy your break, hope to see a rejuvinated James again before too long!
Cheers James. It’s been a treat reading your stuff. I was hoping you might even bang out an article about Graves dropping out of contention for the top job at the ICC. I’m sure you allowed yourself a good old grin at that ;)
Thanks again for all your great work.
Thanks James for all your efforts over the years. I hope you come back rejuvenated but also look forward to hearing what others have to say. Enjoy your sojourn.
Thank you James, it’s been great to include this blog in my cricketing experiences. Am glad you are able to make more time for other, more important things in your life, particularly your family. Hope to see (or read) you back on here sometime in the future mate 👍
Thanks James for all the efforts. Looking forward to seeing you recharged for a new spell.
Thanks, James. It’s always been a witty, erudite read each time I’ve come to the blog and I hope you get your mojo back at some point and return reinvigorated.
Thanks for all your hard work, James. Your piece on KP (‘More sinned against than sinning’ I think was the title) was the best single piece of writing I read on that topic – and there was no shortage of words spent on it!
Hopefully we’ll get some Test cricket in SL and/or India and some enthusiasm might for the game might revive.
I think you’ve all misunderstood the exciting new concept here. James isn’t stepping back to allow himself to concentrate on other writing commitments – he is being quite rightly forced back to allow more room for people who don’t currently enjoy cricket to try their hands at writing and maintaining a cricket blog. They must be the focus know, whoever they are and whether they actually exist or not. (Have that checked – CG)
I trust that those who take this venture forward will have the good sense to reduce the word count of their articles by one sixth and ensure that each missive is produced in association with a salted snack, for no apparent reason.
The fact that these changes may not reflect the wishes of the current readership of this blog is of no interest or relevance to me. Why the current readers/supporters of the site (to be known henceforth as “stakeholders”) feel that they have any right to steer the future of the site is one of life’s most enduring mysteries.
Even if a refusal to engage with the new version of the site by its traditional readership reduces the numbers logging on to just a handful, let it be nonetheless known that the consequential death of the site will be entirely due to this site’s inability to change with the times.
It will not, in any way, be something that can be pinned on the forthcoming expensive, unnecessary rebranding of the site and subsequent change of editorial direction. Just because the site will now focus primarily on tennis camps, sports utility vehicles, Crew Clothing and other things beloved by the mothers of teenage children living in the Home Counties, that is no reason for anyone to complain about the death of The Full Toss.
In fact, it is likely that – in a very real sense – that The Full Todd will actually be saved by these inconsequential and risk-free alterations.
And if The Full Toss isn’t saved, it’s all your fault. You should have loved it more. Like I have.
Ha ha! Love it. Want to write for us? ;-)
Thank you Mr Graves. One of the best comments that I have read here!
What you are experiencing is not unusual James. The whole Covid/lockdown experience is very tiring let alone trying to keep cricket and a column alive. In political circles (in the old days maybe) we were always aware of burn out and didn’t expect militants to be on the go all the time even for the great issues of the day. Such an issue is the preservation of Test Cricket and County Cricket in the face of the abominable Hundred and the machinations of the ECB. I’m in a County that was the worst victim of those machinations which proves how dangerous and ruthless they can be. But the fans still love the long game and you’ve done more than your bit to keep the fight going. Hand over the flame and there will be those who will be new keepers. All the best and take care. Stay safe.
Greatly enjoyed being part of the blog and hearing your (and Maxie’s) views over the last few years – haven’t commented as much recently but always pleased to see a new article pop up in my inbox.
Look forward to hearing from you again at some point in the future. Am sure somebody at the ECB will irk you too much for you to stay quiet!
‘Ave a goodun aah kid.
The boy done well.
Look forward to seeing what the new boy format will bring.
Thanks James for all you’ve given us over the years and I hope you have a good break and hopefully feel able to re-engage. The twin horrors of Covid and the implacability and tin ear of the ECB is enough for anyone. I’ve really enjoyed reading your articles over the years. Go well.
Thank you, James. Write if you feel like writing. Don’t write if you don’t feel like writing. Enjoy spending time with your children.
In due course you’ll probably be back James. In the meantime, chill.
I have to say that my own interest in cricket in almost zero at the moment.
I’m inclined to blame Boris.
I shall miss you x
I blame the ECB.
Take it easy and I’ll look forward to reading your views when you come back.
Enjoy the break James
Good luck, hope you enjoy your break, a short short one hopefully