Skip to main content


Radio Radio

By Asides, Cricket, Literature

This morn­ing I sloped up to Radio New Zealand to review Richard Boock’s new bio­graphy of Bert Sutcliffe: “The Last Everyday Hero”. Kathryn’s a crick­et fan so, even though she had­n’t got to read­ing the book, we had plenty to talk about. Including an unex­pec­ted diver­sion into the sub­ject of Fleetwood Mac.

Listen here or down­load from the link below:


Book Review with Dan Slevin: “The Last Everyday Hero: The Bert Sutcliffe Story” by Richard Boock, pub­lished by Longacre Press – Random House NZ. (dur­a­tion: 7m 58s)

World Cup Interlude

By Football, meta

Once again, things have gone a bit quiet around here but I have been pro­du­cing some writ­ing for the Internet at Russell Brown’s Public Address blog for the last week or two. Hadyn, Peter D and I have been World Cup guest-blogging and you can read my con­tri­bu­tions here, here, here and here. My final piece, try­ing to reach some con­clu­sions about the tour­na­ment, will appear after the Final is con­cluded some time next Monday.

On the sub­ject of the World Cup, I came across this art­icle at The Guardian today, again try­ing to sum the tour­na­ment up with two games to go:

As we saw in this year’s European Cup, and are now see­ing in the World Cup, foot­ball is going through a phase in which the sci­ence of coach­ing has the upper hand over the tech­nic­al skill of indi­vidu­al play­ers. That emphas­is gives an advant­age to the rich European clubs, and by exten­sion to their nation­al teams, who bene­fit most imme­di­ately from the rising levels of tac­tic­al sophistication.

Which seems a reas­on­able con­clu­sion to come to, I guess, but quite dif­fer­ent to what was being said a fort­night ago. I would add that the argu­ment about the primacy of the coach is con­firmed by the suc­cess of New Zealand (the best coached and led side at the tour­na­ment?) and the fail­ure of England, whose coach failed to over­come the neg­at­ive influ­ences of player-power and media bullying.

Anyway, the World Cup has taken a lot of my time recently, and the Film Festival kicks off in Wellington next Thursday so that’s anoth­er fort­night spoken for. Indeed, I have been beaver­ing away at screen­er DVDs from the Festival for my Capital Times pre­view which goes to print next week – and I’ll post it here (and at Wellingtonista) as soon as I can.

Nomads and imports

By Asides, Cricket

Andy Bull (good British name) talk­ing about English crick­et’s nomads and imports in The Spin:

There is no need to mark a divid­ing line between those who arrived as chil­dren and those who made the decision later in life, just as there is no need to draw dis­tinc­tions between play­ers who have moved from Test-playing nations and those who haven’t. The point is that they decided to come at all. That is suf­fi­cient com­mit­ment in itself.

That sen­ti­ment is true for all walks of life, not just sport.

Management consultancy

By Hammers, Literature, Sport

If I could have anoth­er life to live, sim­ul­tan­eous with my own, I would prob­ably spend most of it play­ing Sports Interactive’s Football Manager (aka Championship Manager). While I tend to scoff at those who get excited at Beatles Rock Bands and am baffled but impressed by those who take games ser­i­ously, I can­not deny my achilles heel and so every year I down­load the demo of the latest ver­sion and then force myself to not buy the full game in order to stay sane.

The 2009 ver­sion intro­duced half-time and full-time team talks, allow­ing you to gee-up or dress-down your team depend­ing on your psy­cho­logy, theirs, and the state of the match. Motivational options included “Show your dis­ap­point­ment at the team” or “Tell your play­ers to do this for the sup­port­ers” and you could single play­ers out for cri­ti­cism or praise (“Tell Cole that you are delighted with him”).

Read More

A Straight bat Outta Compton

By Cricket, Sport

90 minutes away from the first day of the 1st Test of the Ashes from lovely Cardiff, here’s some­thing to warm the heart of any crick­et fan, the Compton Cricket Club from South Central LA rap about the game:


More on the Compton Cricket Club here, and here. I once toyed with writ­ing a screen­play based on these won­der­ful people until I dis­covered the story had already been optioned – as an opera. My ver­sion would a be rip­per, though, I assure you.

[Hat-tip The Guardian 11 Best Songs About Cricket]