THE SECRET CRICKETER  English Cricket from the Inside

THE SECRET CRICKETER English Cricket from the Inside

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


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Pages: 288

MRP: £16.99


I have been often told that I do not always concentrate, and am not especially patient either. On receiving this book from Pitch Publishing, both of these traits immediately came into play as I became frustrated trying to find the author's name, searching in the normal places. Nothing. I am rather ashamed to say that, had it occurred to me that maybe reading the book's title first - or at least taking it on board - would have given a clue, the penny dropped that I wouldn't be likely to find the author's name...

It was not difficult to imagine that a book, written anonymously, might offer an interesting take on its subject, in this case English cricket. It most certainly does - well, the author tells us everything fairly bluntly and it's a good read and touches upon subjects about which one might not ordinarily expect to read. But who on earth wrote it? Did I glean anything from the cover? Yes, I hoped so. Seems to be a long-serving county cricketer, probably a batting all-rounder and someone who played for the Lions. I thought that I had it and slept that night knowing that the following morning I would pursue a golden hint when the author dropped in his initials: TSC. Put it down to tiredness, I felt mortified and foolish the next morning after searching through all cricketers with surnames beginning with C... Remember to look at the title...

There were other nuggets which drew a blank. A match mentioned in which twenty-four were dismissed lbw, including the author, twice. My database could find no match with so many of the players, one assumes, pinned back on their stumps. My database may not go back far enough, though. The author admits that he played international cricket which gave a further hint. I must happily admit that the author comes over as pretty fearless in his views and that it made for engrossing reading and is not the type of book where one would want to get the gist and skip the odd page. That said, a further frustration was encountered when my first hunch of the book's author was mentioned in glowing terms but, as this cricketer has not been lucky to have played international cricket, this discounted him from being the elusive author. (I think. One also hopes that anonymous authors would not blow their own trumpets so extravagantly either! Just in case...)

Maybe the secret is to enjoy the book for its content rather than, like me, try at all costs to discover the author's identity. I have thoroughly enjoyed every page. The author has some firm views and touches upon aspects of a county cricketer's life which one might not ordinarily or necessarily expect to come across in a cricket book but all of which make for an engrossing and fascinating read. The book takes a look at the difficulties faced by cricketers after retirement but naturally long before the minimum retirement age meaning the possibility of a change of direction. Relationships with supporters; playing in front of large and small crowds; the effect of social media on some players are all amongst a dazzling array of subjects, all expressed in a way many might find refreshing. It covers the gamut of experiences and emotions of being a very decent county cricketer.

Whoever you are, well done and thanks. I am still not convinced that I shall rest easy without knowing who you are, though.