Thursday, 26 December 2013


At the start of this month, Issue 4 of Wisden’s cricket quarterly, The Nightwatchman, hit the stands. Explicitly modeled on the football journal, The Blizzard, the cricketing stablemate provides a platform for longform journalism and for writers to pursue niche interests that the world of SEO and quote-harvesting would ordinarily preclude from being published.

In my case, that means a long piece exploring what Graham Onions’ career-best spell of 9 for 67 against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge last year (which I covered for The Guardian) can teach us about the French philosopher and father of deconstruction, Jacques Derrida. And vice versa, of course – what Derrida teaches us about Onions’ spell and causality’ in cricket. The Chief UK Correspondent of ESPNcricinfo, George Dobell, remarked that the Venn diagram overlap for Onions and Derrida wasn’t huge, which is precisely the beauty of The Nightwatchman, as indeed it is for The Blizzard.

Anyway, having previously written a couple of pieces for the latter, I’m extremely honoured to have become only the fourth person – after Blizzard editor Jonathan Wilson, Wisden India editor Dileep Premachandran, and the enormously talented and knowledgable Rob Smyth – to have completed the Nightwatchman–Blizzard double. Now, if only I could monetize this niche, French Theory meets sports commentary, then I’d be a happy bunny.


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