Saturday, March 23, 2013


“Cricket was my reason for living”.
           Harold Larwood

Larwood's utterance isn't an isolated view - the inner thoughts of a ruthless quick whose opinion mirrors many of his contemporaries, past or present.

I adore our great game, there is no room for debate in that, but is it my first love? The one thing that I couldn't live without? Is it that for any of us?

Any utterances I were to make about a player's (international, at least) love for cricket would be mired in hearsay - my experiences as a club hacker don't provide a basis for such lofty assessment. An outside-in view is murkier than quantifying the birthdate of a Pakistani cricketer - I'll leave that up to the paid brigade, especially given their number continues to swell with ex-internationals at the expense of those with a journalistic grounding (that's a subject for another day).

Friday, March 8, 2013

“Son of”, or his own man?

Why must every successful cricketer whose father walked in the same circles years earlier be constantly compared to the "old man"? What is our engrained need for him to be referred to as the "son of"? Doesn't it show a lack of respect and knowledge of either man - that one is somehow a greater or lesser light than the other?

Ken Rutherford was a fine cricketer, though the start of his international career will long live in New Zealand Cricket infamy - to open the innings in your international debut is a formidable ask. To take guard against the might of the West Indies at the peak of their powers in a Caribbean cauldron is akin to sending a child out to do battle in a Roman coliseum, with the local masses squeezed into every space baying for your blood. At 19, it's a wonder Rutherford didn't join Jeremy Coney in one of the local hospitals, with broken bones and a spirit suffering a similar ailment.