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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

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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

Changing Cricket Fashion – The Bat

21 Feb

Cricket Bats

So here we are.  It’s moving, emotional.  The final chapter of what has been, at times, an almost interesting look at the history of cricket equipment and kit.  And I’ve saved the best till last, for this post will be focused on the cricket bat – from weird, scoopy hockey stick design to the Mongoose.  It’s gonna be a fun ride.

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Changing Cricket Fashion – the Gloves

1 Feb

_W._G._Grace_sweeping_a_ball

The third of this series looks at the batsmen’s gloves, and the evolution from the earliest gloves to the modern equipment used today.  As with pads, there has not really been a massive amount of change in the design and style of this piece of gear – they pretty much got it right first time.  However, as with all cricket equipment, the materials used to make the gloves has changed in recent times.  To view the two previous instalments in this absolutely riveting sequence of cricket history – click here for pads, and here for helmets.  I recommend the one about helmets.

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Changing Cricket Fashion – The Pads

22 Jan

pads

This is the second part in my series looking at the history of cricket equipment and how it has changed over the years.  The first piece, published last week, focused on the interesting history of helmets – give it a read here.  This week I’m looking at another essential piece of gear – a cricketers pads.  Often overlooked in the fashion stakes, these tend to take the most punishment, so they need to be durable and trustworthy, but also mobile and light.  

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Changing Cricket Fashion – the Helmet

13 Jan

Gavaskarhelmet

This is a NEW SERIES!!
I’m going to be looking at each aspect of cricket fashion, equipment and style through the ages, explaining a little bit about it and showing some nice pictures.  So a bit similar to my Old School Photo Albums Parts I and II – lots of pictures and a few words.
  Enjoy!

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Old School Photo Album – Part II

10 Nov

A few of weeks ago, I posted my first Old School Photo Album.  It got a lot of views, and made me think that people preferred looking at pictures of stuff rather than reading my words.  However, I took the hit, and decided to share some more pictures of old cricketers to serve two purposes – 1) make you happy, and 2) save me from having to write much.  As before, as much sepia and nostalgia as possible.  Enjoy!

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