Saturday, 15 February 2014


Way back in the mists of April 2012 I had the idea to ask cricket writers a set of standard questions about their time spent covering the game, upon which they would be invited to riff. Initially, I gathered half a dozen or so together, mainly through buttonholing the less forbidding writers in the press boxes I found myself in, and had fully intended to work my way up to the scarier, fire-breathing beasties. The idea was successfully pitched yet, for one reason or another, never hit the streets. Nor even the virtual streets. Anyway, having asked people to devote some of their time to this, it seems only right they don’t languish on my hardrive. So, here you go… 

Gideon Haigh is an Australian freelancer who has contributed to several newspapers down the years, including The Age, The Australian and The Times, as well as being the author of over twenty books on the game.
Who are your favourite cricket writers, past and present? 
Alan Ross, Mike Atherton. 

How about broadcasters – which trio would you have in the commentary box for your perfect 30 mins? 
Arlott, CMJ, Tim Lane. 

What were your personal cricketing achievements and highlights? 
None to speak of. Club cricket for almost forty years as dour opening bat and finger spinner. 

Beyond a Boundary – what other passions do you have in life? 
See[There are quite a lot] 

Fantasy cricket – where’s the venue, who’s playing, and who are you watching it with? 
It would probably involve Victor Trumper. If it did, nothing else would matter.   

Favourite ground in England? 

Favourite press box on the county circuit and why? 
Not sure I have sufficient expertise to answer this. 

What’s the best day’s cricket you’ve reported on? 
Last day, Oval, 2005. 

And which day’s play do you wish you’d been at? 
Last day, Old Trafford, 1902. 

Mirth in the press box – who’s the funniest colleague? 
Peter Lalor, Jarrod Kimber. 

As a journalist, what’s the most tempestuous experience you’ve had – be that with colleagues, players, coaches, board members, spectators, or readers? Have you ever come to blows? 
Certainly not.  My disagreements have sometimes been trenchantly expressed but never uncivil. 

Magic wand time – what changes would you make to English domestic cricket, if possible? 
Not my department. 

What about international cricket – what would you change, given half a chance? 
I would remove the ICC executive board and replace it with six independent directors. 

Which youngsters do you think will go on to be giants? 

Who are your favourite current county batter and bowler? 
Simon Katich, Ryan Sidebottom. 

Which coach do you most enjoy chatting to, given the opportunity? 
Tim Coyle, a great servant of the game. 

And which player is a refreshingly platitude-free zone to talk to, on or off the record?  
Ed Cowan, a good friend; Chris Hartley, an insightful thinker. 

Is Internet journalism sustainable – either for employers or employees? 
Cricinfo suggests that the answer to the latter is yes. 

What is the best piece you’ve written (or your favourite, if modesty prevents a proper answer)? 
I always like to think that next piece I write will be the best thing I’ve ever done. That belief keeps me going. 

Also in this series:  
David Hopps | Andy Wilson | Jarrod Kimber | Vic Marks | George Dobell

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