by Rob Harris

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

Email: info@pitchpublishing.co.uk
Website: www.pitchpublishing.co.uk

Buy directly from: Website: https://www.pitchpublishing.co.uk/shop/wont-you-dance-virat-kohli

Pages: 255

MRP: £12.99


Sports writer Rob Harris's memoirs of club cricket will strike a chord with many of us who have played at the grass roots level. I did wonder where on earth the title of the book came from but all was revealed in the latter part of it.

What Rob has done excellently in Won't You Dance for Virat Kohli? is explain the feelings that doubtless many club cricketers have experienced, and maybe put into words what we have not always liked to admit. Cricket is fundamentally a game for those turning out on the village green but it does have the ability - and possibly irritation - of becoming rather all too consuming for our own good at times. I found myself thoroughly enjoying the anecdotes, and agreeing with much whilst being reminded on occasion of the type of topic of which many of us have been guilty.

Readers will recognise fellow team mates, opponents, umpires and scorers, the type of which we have all met as well as the many adventures along the way. Whilst much will amuse, I was touched by a more serious air and some of Rob's ideals and the way the game has changed. It is some years since I last turned out in club cricket and Rob seems to be slightly younger than me, but it does appear that not everything is as some of us would like and I wholeheartedly agree with and endorse Rob's chivalry and decency with his views on sporting behaviour.

Rob has experienced tragedy off the field and analyses how much impact, perhaps detrimentally, the game has had on him. It is good now to read that, his life once again settled, he still aspires to play and do great things on the field. His reflections are moving.

Some of his observations are, to me, spot on and which I can relate to having experienced much which has been similar. A coaching course at Lord's was one. Encouraged to bowl but it seems not for long as the pace of his bowling was too slow for the camera to pick up was an enjoyable one. I remember for once being delighted seeing a police speed camera at one Oxfordshire ground and was happy that I was unlikely to receive a letter in the post should it have tracked my bowling speed. An older bowler, priding himself on still being a formidable fast bowling force into his 60s, was less enamoured with my suggestion that the said speed camera would not be interested in him either. Readers will undoubtedly enjoy and relate to many of Rob's on and off the field recollections.

Rob's analysis of going to a T20 match as a spectator was illuminating. I rather doubt, though, that he has managed to convert me...

It could also be said that this is a "life" story: how the virus has changed people's lives, and even perceptions; decisions regretted, and not made and how for Rob, and me and, I am sure, others, that the most important aspect was the people we met at cricket, both with whom we played with and against and the characters who have given years of devoted service. In short, there is much to enjoy and be impressed by in Won't You Dance for Virat Kohli? It is a book which I have thoroughly enjoyed and wish Rob and Pitch Publishing every success with.