Wednesday, 2 September 2015


Some time in July I headed out Solihull way, to a Lashings game (a bizarre carnival worthy of a piece in itself), to interview, among others, the current Himley CC pro Wasim Jaffer on the subject of the five great Indian batsmen of his era, all of whom he played with across a 31-match Test career: Sachin, Rahul, VVS, Ganguly and Sehwag.

I was able to pinch two twelve-minute periods in amongst the various corporate glad-handing he was contractually obliged to undertake, and the result was an interview that ESPNcricinfo refused, despite having commissioned it ("there's nothing here that hasn't been said before"). In spite of my best efforts to elicit specific examples of their technical strengths and weaknesses, specific anecdotes illustrating his general observations, Wasim played a steady hand, blocking carefully, eschewing high-risk options... 

Anyway, if you're not au fait with the copious literature on the aforementioned stars, here's the piece, which I sold on to Wisden India for considerably less than cricinfo would have stumped up. Sigh. 

Wasim Jaffer on the Big Five 

Tuesday, 1 September 2015


My effort to smuggle as many North Staffs cricket stories on to the widely read virtual pages of ESPNcricinfo continues apace, this month with the story of Rangana Herath's brief and not especially successful couple of months at Moddershall in 2009, at least some of which was directly copy/pasted from a lengthier comparison of his stint as pro and Imran Tahir's (Imrangana Taherath: A Tale of Two Spinners). This follows fairly recent pieces on Tino Best, Shahid Afridi, Adam Sanford, and, self-aggrandisingly, me nudging 50-odd against Bilawal Bhatti.

As ever, the earnestness of the some of the comments is both amusing and disturbing all at the same time. 

Herath's Cold Summer at Staffs