by Jamie Magill

Published by: Pitch Publishing, A2 Yeoman Gate, Yeoman Way,
Worthing, Sussex BN13 3QZ


Pages: 253

MRP: £16.99

Copies can be bought from


Lancashire had a formidable record as a One-Day county during the period which Jamie Magill, an avid Lancashire supporter and now London-based solicitor, writes about. Their County Championship performances were not, though, as distinguished during this era and Jamieís later observations are, like the rest of his book, interesting and perceptive.

I have to be honest and say that, when I started reading this book, it was not quite what I had expected and Jamieís forthright style came as an assault on the senses and woke me up thoroughly at a time when I was expecting to retire gracefully to sleep. Fair play to him, though. It did not take me at all long to thoroughly enjoy and appreciate his take on the cricket via his memoirs as a teenager following Lancashire CCC.

I am sure that many of us will remember and enjoy Jamieís recollections and hark back to the times when we became engrossed in the game. His style may be uninhibited and the examples and descriptions used to convey his points are those of a highly active and intelligent mind. I was not surprised to find out that he studied Law.

His memories are probably similar to many of us following the game in our younger days. We may not have always enjoyed it and it held a grip on us but we can probably chuckle at previous events now that we are older (and maybe wiser). Jamie may not appreciate that my childhood hero was from the other Rose county, Boycott, and whilst we may look back on events at a later date and wish that we might have done things differently, I do not regret locking myself in a cupboard at school when Boycott registered his famous duck against Holding in Bridgetown in 1981. It is not difficult to relate to some of Jamieís feelings at the time.

I have thoroughly enjoyed Jamieís experiences and agree wholeheartedly with many of his points. He is a braver writer than me but there is lots with which I, and I would imagine others, can relate to. How cricket has changed since those days, merely 30 years ago. A friend mentioned to me recently that we may have been some of the last people to be able Ė legally Ė to go on to the hallowed Lordís turf at the end of a Test (against West Indies in 2000). Do so now and the night might be spent in the local police station. Doubtless a necessary deterrent, but still a shame. Jamie too mentioned being able to go on to the ground at the end of an Old Trafford Test around the same time.

Jamie seems to be one for the longer format, which I am too. He talks of the thrill of meeting the players, watching his heroes, the goings-on in the crowd and everything that makes up a day at the cricket. What of the shortest format now? Yes, I think that readers will find out where he stands on that. The modernisation of the game and grounds is also eloquently mentioned

Itís Raining Pads and Bats shows how life and cricket have changed so dramatically within this century and I would be surprised if I am the only one who concurs with his general views in both areas. His frank style should leave the reader in no doubt about his views and it is nice to read of the Lancashire players of that era ( which included Atherton, Wasim Akram, Fairbrother, Allott and de Freitas amongst some of the international stars along with less-heralded but vital components of the side which include Ian Austin, Glenn Chapple, Nick Speak and Graham Lloyd) all speaking of the enjoyment of playing in that particular side and era.

Itís Raining Bats and Pads has been a most enjoyable read.