Archive | Book review RSS feed for this section

Milestones

9 Oct

120124010605-cricket-ponting-story-topRight so, it’s been a year since I went onto WordPress and started up an innocently yet hilariously self-indulgent blog called ‘alexbritten.wordpress.com’. In my defence, I made a mistake. I thought that was a username, or something, and I could call it something more related to cricket rather than just my name. Obviously I was wrong, but it has given me plenty of material for self deprecating jokes over the past 12 months, so it’s probably been worth it.

I was seriously naive when I started this blog. My genuine belief was that I’d write on this for 6 – 10 months, then I’d start getting money through it because of adverts (and because I don’t understand the internet), then I’d get a pleasingly grovelling email from the sports editor at the Guardian begging for me to come and write for him because Mike Selvey and Andy Bull really are letting the side down. Modestly I’d accept my post, move to North London and live like a king, occasionally using executive phrases such as ‘filing my copy’ and ‘just popping to Lord’s for a spot of lunch with Gus Fraser’. I’d imbibe gallons of Beaujolais, smoke cigars and take baths in tubs full of dollar bills.

The reality – I moved from a student hovel in Manchester back home to Suffolk, only met Mike Selvey and Andy Bull at Guardian HQ once (on an excellent ‘How To Be A Cricket Journalist’ masterclass – check them out); I have filed no copies (unless writing online and self publishing counts), went to Lord’s just the solitary time (didn’t meet Angus Fraser) and have drunk no expensive wine, smoked any cigars nor attempted to wash myself using dirty money.

Luckily, I was asked to edit thecricketmagazine.com, and so I’ve been filling up internet space blathering on about that incessantly. And, equally luckily, some excellent writers have written things (filed copies?) for that, showing me how one should write about cricket in a witty, informative and engaging way. People like the wrongunatlongon, Ruth Thielke, Jud Ong, Davis Harrigan from Beyond Realisation, Matt Carter and so many more that I’ve forgotten them. Thanks guys.

So has this blog has sort of achieved an aim, in that I am now a bit more of a cricket journalist than I was before the 8th of October 2012? Maybe. I’m not as much of one as I want to be and I most likely act and behave like more of one than I really am. One of the other stated aims on this blog was to discover more of the internet than YouTube and Buzzfeed – so has this succeeded? I guess that has too. I now know about webmail and, sadly, am addicted to Reddit. I think that means the past year has, therefore, been good? Jesus.

Anyway, seeing as blogs are, in their nature, incredibly self centred things, I’m going to write a list of objective that I would like to achieve before the 8th of October 2014:

1) Update this blog more regularly, and not with those really annoying ‘read more on The Cricket Magazine’ links because whenever I see something similar on another website it irritates me to the point of immediate combustion. That isn’t to say I’ll stop doing those things (because what is a loyal audience for if not for conning them for hits?), but I’ll try and do more articles solely for Thoughts of a Cricket Addict. You lucky devils.

2) Get paid. Lololol.

3) Build up Twitter followers, both on TCM Twitter and personal one. I don’t know why it surprises me that, despite my numerous bellicose tweets about the bloody ICC they still don’t follow me, but it does. And they should. Also, the ECB (same reason for them not following me) and just generally more people who don’t govern cricket, but just like it (probably more than the ICC, but that isn’t hard).

4) Be less bitter/jealous about other journalists and writers who are more successful than I am. And to that end, stop whining about nepotism. It happens, it’s always happened, and as long as certain people’s fathers are major cricket correspondents, they’ll always have a foot in the door irrespective of their own questionable ability to write words about cricket. Grumble.

5) Stop grumbling.

6) Stop rambling.

So there we go. Another year older, another year closer to death. It has actually been a lot of fun. I’ve done things that I never thought I’d do, and that is all because of this blog and, far more importantly, because of you. Yes, you, anonymous internet person. Just clicking onto this has made it possible and I will be forever grateful for it. Should I ever meet anyone who says ‘Hey, we both like cricket, why don’t you check out this great blog I read, it’s called Thoughts of…’ I’ll spontaneously erupt with joy and jubilation and probably lick that person right on the face.

Here’s to another year.

Alex

Advertisements

Leather & Willow

19 Mar

Facebook Logo

Dear reader.  You may have noticed the new banner that I have on my blog and got very confused.  This is understandable, for it has incontrovertibly changed.  Leather & Willow?  This sounds like a furniture magazine.  Well I can assure you that it is not a furniture magazine, writing about one thing I don’t really know much about is hard enough for me. Leather & Willow is actually a cricket magazine.  It’s a new Club and County cricket magazine that I have started.  And it launches soon.  Sound interesting?  You BET!   Continue reading

Keeping Quiet – A Review

14 Feb

Keeping Quiet Paul NixonI generally try to avoid reading autobiographies of cricketers as I have found that they can be a bit too self serving or poorly written.  Often they can contain all the cliches that they have trotted out during the innumerable interviews conducted during their career.  Basically, they can read like their ESPNcricinfo profiles with a couple of stories of dressing room banter thrown in for variety.  Thankfully, I found none of this to be true when I read Paul Nixon’s book, Keeping Quiet – a painfully honest account of his life and his career behind the stumps.

Continue reading

Bookie Gambler Fixer Spy – A Review

15 Jan

{BEFA4E0D-246F-4775-AA36-D0AAE6591391}Img100 (1)

When the news broke in 2010 that two Pakistani bowlers – Mohammad Asif and 18 year-old Mohammad Amir, and their captain Salman Butt – were alleged to have been given money to bowl no-balls on demand during a Test match against England at Lords I watched the story unfold with wide-eyed wonder and no uncertain amount of ignorance.  Only 9 years old when the Hansie Cronje case occurred, the idea of fixing in cricket was unfamiliar.  Moreover, I have little interest in betting, and still do, so all the talk of odds went over my head.

Continue reading

Cricket Books for 2013

9 Jan

Last year I did a review of 5 cricket books.  Although humorously (?) entitled ‘My Top 5 Cricket Books, or, The Only 5 I’ve Read Which, Coincidentally, Are Good‘, I have actually read more than 5.  I’ve read even more since, and have more lined up.  Books are great.  So here are the ones that I plan to read this year – not necessarily new, but highly rated.

Continue reading

My Top 5 Cricket Books, or, The Only 5 I’ve Read Which, Coincidentally, Are Good

11 Oct

Upon the undertaking of this blog, I told myself very firmly that at no point would I write a whimsical tale of village cricket.

Continue reading