Tour Reporters (BOOK EXTRACT)

Tour Reporters (BOOK EXTRACT)

Post by Sadiq Yus » Mon, 08 Mar 1993 08:36:25

        Well, thanks to Vasee we have gotten articles from lots of English  
reporters in India over this series. And some of them (the Simon Barnes  
one on the psyscholgy of touring for example) have been remarkably  
perceptive and a thoroughly enjoyable read.
        Got this article from "The Faber Book of Cricket", which I've used  
for scanning articles before.  It was taken from "The Cricketer" in  
1973.Its relatively short, and I personally love the writing used to  
describe the Indian tour :-)  All scanning errors are mine, of course.

                        Sadiq [ who likes _only_ cricket reporters ] Yusuf


        Apart, perhaps, from the odd Cuban revolutionary, one or two  
lighthouse-keepers and the hibernating complex of Britain, the whole world  
seems to be playing cricket at the moment. It is manifestly unfair.
        Sports pages have been decorated during the past month with  
cricket datelines from Brazil, Australia, the West Indies and South  
Africa, not to mention various watering holes in India. But more than  
that: the evidence is mounting that, away from head office, our golf  
writers are also trying to get their hands on cricket.
        Henry Longhurst of the Sunday Times, writing from the shade of a  
coconut tree in Tobago, described how he had spent a 'largely hilarious  
afternoon' watching Colin Cowdrey and Kent play the Island team. 'Here was  
the sort of game that would fill the cricket grounds of England again  
overnight,' he wrote. 'With the game fairly well in hand, Cowdrey elected  
to give himself an over or two and almost at once scattered a West  
Indian's stumps, which seemed to give rise to unseemly merriment. The  
incoming batsman, however, hit the next ball over the crowd, over the main  
road, over the beach and into the Atlantic.'
        Meantime, the Sunday Telegraph's golf man, Donald Steel, was  
filing a cricket story from Rio de Janeiro: an inside story, no less,  
because Steel was writing as a member of the Twenty Club's party (Bob  
Gale, Stuart Surridge and company). 'Noel Coward would never believe it  
and Lord's would never stand for it,' wrote Steel, 'but a side of English  
cricketers have won what they were pleased to call a Test match against  
Brazil ... but since no Brazilian (cricket) side has ever been known to  
contain a single Brazilian, it was not surprising that the proceedings  
caused little stir.'...
        [The men out in India and Pakistan] have been writing in  
Technicolor. Clive Taylor of the Sun offered us this introduction: 'In a  
moment of drama that burst like a phial of acid over another day of  
hateful heat, England preserved for themselves just a droplet of hope.'
        And Peter Laker of the Daily Mirror, after Tony Lewis had followed  
his resignation as Glamorgan's captain with a century in the fourth Test,  
had this to say: 'Tony Lewis, an ardent devotee of classical music,  
composed his own symphony here today.' Who said the Mirror had no culture?
        My very favourite introduction, however, was built by Robin Marlar  

brown kites whirl and dive, hundreds of thousands of bicycles are pedalled  
through Kanpur's crowded streets, the cars hoot and are ignored, and not  
so far from the bridge over the Ganges where the massacred bodies were  
disposed during the mutiny of a century and more ago, in the new Modi  
Stadium in Green Park, England are trying to square up a series watched by  
14,000 cheerful but potentially dangerous students and most of the police  
force of Uttar Pradesh.'
        Ornithology, local custom, high adventure, colonial history,  
international sport and social comment all in a sentence. Not bad.

in The Cricketer (March 1973)


Arlott's Voice

I hear John Arlott's voice every weekend, describing cricket matches. He  
sounds like Uncle Tom Cobleigh reading Neville Cardus to the Indians...

Letter to Margaret Taylor (1 1 July 1947)