Swannack rekindles a family affair

After nearly 30 years away, the Surridges are back in the bat-making game

SWANNACK_07_16_S2_685The bat. Less a piece of wood, more a member of the family. Often it’s your mum, getting you out of trouble. Sometimes it’s a sibling pressing all your buttons. But occasionally, just occasionally, it can be your partner, an extension of you, finishing your cricket shot sentences for you, loving you not in spite of your flaws, but because of them.

It’s a unique relationship. This is true for no-one more than Charley Surridge, great great grand-daughter of Percy, great niece of Stuart, daughter of John. Having the founder of a 150-year-old brand, the captain that won the County Championship five times in a row, and the creator of one of the most famous bats to have graced the game, might seem daunting to some, but Surridge is embracing the challenge head on. Continue reading “Swannack rekindles a family affair”

The revolution will not be televised

Ostensibly an upstart commentary service, Guerilla Cricket might just be a handy barometer for the sport

Guerilla sofa“Shit!”

Something has poked The Bear. It’s the sound rig. The first toss of the Ashes happened 15 minutes ago. In Australia, chinos pass final judgement. In this small London room, blazered regulars look confused. A Sofa sits empty in front of a screen surrounded by microphones. Their wires lead to the rig.

Finally it clicks. The sound sparks on just in time to hear BT Sport’s besuited Michael Vaughan offer up his summary opinion to the viewers.

“Cook and Root need to score runs.”

The room sighs. It deserves better.

Three wise men take their seats on the sofa. The TV is muted and a languid calypso tune starts up. Before we know it an audibly excited voice bursts from the furniture, via the rig and through the speaker stack.

“Good morning, good evening, good dusk, good dawn! I’m Guerilla Hendo joined by Grubby78 and Not Fred Titmus – we are in the bosom… the womb… the cleavage of London’s Groucho Club!”

Welcome to the world of Guerilla Cricket. Continue reading “The revolution will not be televised”

Web logs

Peering at the personal sites of some of the biggest names in world cricket, floating in the toilet bowl of the internet

What do you think of Grigory Rasputin?

This man had a certain talent that allowed him to wield power over people. I think that he was an eccentric person.

What is your favourite quote?

“Comfort is a big disease, make sure you get out of your comfort zone”


There is one inconvenient truth that sportspeople, cricketers included, want to hide from us. Continue reading “Web logs”

No play today

Sport and gaming are natural bedfellows, so why has cricket not embraced the opportunity?

gaming.jpgFill in the blank.

The venue was packed, the fans feverish having converged on Birmingham from far and wide. It was the end of the summer and they had come to indulge their passion for a craze that has grown exponentially in popularity over the past decade. For these 20,000 people this was the only place to be, all here to visit __________.

Continue reading “No play today”

Stopping the rot

Cricket is awash with cash, and there are two newly-minted Test-playing nations, yet the game is going through an existential crisis. So what are we going to do about it?

cricket-724616_1920There are, as Ian Botham once put it, “cricketers who empty bars when they walk to the crease, men like Flintoff, Brian Lara and Adam Gilchrist. The sort of players who get your pulse racing by watching them do what they do best.” A conversation about the ultimate journalistic equivalent of a ‘bar’ player would not be complete without a mention for Matthew Engel. He emptied the metaphorical refreshment tents of cricket commentators last Friday with a blazing innings constructed across twenty polemic paragraphs.

While the article made the cricketing community stand to attention, not a single reader could have taken any pleasure in its withering assessment of the state of the modern game and the governing bodies that hold its future in their palm. His stature as an x-factor journalist demands that we take notice. Continue reading “Stopping the rot”