Book of the week: The Nightwatchman - Wisden Cricket Quarterly Spring Issue
Saturday 17 May 2014
The Nightwatchman magazine’s spring issue is its fifth, and it goes from strength to strength as an outlet for eclectic long-form essays on the game. The criteria of the managing editor, Matt Thacker, include: “quality of writing, geographical mix, split of cricket journalists and ‘outsiders’, gender mix, subject range, mix of big names and unknowns,” and this issue middles the ball on every one.
Perhaps the most poignant article is Alison Mitchell’s portrait of “Australia’s 13th man”. If you wondered who the grey-haired 70-year-old in whites and Baggy Green cap was next to Michael Clarke on the outfield before December’s Adelaide Test, it was Barry “Nugget” Rees, a gentleman with learning difficulties who was long ago welcomed into the fold of the Aussie game, counts Steven Waugh, and Adam Gilchrist among his closest friends and has a team role as Honorary Assistant Coach.
Elsewhere among the 21 essays, the West Country sage David Foot chronicles the all-too-brief county career of Somerset’s engine-driver/wicketkeeper Seymour Clark; members of the losing side in the record first-class defeat, by an innings and 851 runs, explain that all was not quite what it seemed; Reg Simpson, England’s 12th man in Bradman’s final Test in 1948, claims Len Hutton “buggered up my career”; and Graeme Swann’s brother Alec reflects on sibling rivalry, or the lack of it.
My only criticism of The Nightwatchman is its unappealing sans serif typeface; the Gotham font is much used for building signage in the United States, which is where it should have stayed. But don’t let that picky point deter you from enjoying this cornucopia of cricket riches. And don’t be put off by the single-issue price of £9 either – it’s cheaper on subscription, and costs only a tenner a year as an e-book. If you enjoy this, the Summer Issue is out next month.
Published in paperback by Wisden, £9
World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas
Rumours that the star wants to move on to pastures new
TV presenter Fiona Bruce seemed a bit startled by the find during the filming of Antiques Roadshow
Comedian says he 'never laughed as hard as I have writing with Rik'
Harry Redknapp: 'Adel Taarabt is about three stone overweight. I can't pick him'
QPR vs Liverpool match report: Liverpool snatch victory in seven late minutes of madness
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce calm over lack of new contract
QPR vs Liverpool player ratings: Who was the star man? And did Mario Balotelli emerge with any credit?
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Manchester United striker to glory
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- 2 Ebola outbreak: What is bushmeat – and is it to blame for the disease that has killed thousands?
- 3 Star Wars memorabilia called a 'bit of plastic' by Antiques Roadshow's Fiona Bruce valued at £50,000
- 4 Meet Thea, Norway's 12-year-old child bride
- 5 Russell Brand might seem like a sexy revolutionary worth getting behind, but he will only fail his fans
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'