Lord's Diary: Not quite the poetry of motion but still graceful

A rapt crowd sated on Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell might have been still more enthused had Albert Craig been before them. Who he?

Albert Craig was a Yorkshire rhymester who deserted his wife and children and in the latter part of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th became a significant feature of the English cricket landscape. Craig sold poems at a penny a time, engaged with the crowds at Lord's and The Oval and at one time was as famous as – and as synonymous with cricket as – W G Grace. He wrote of Grace in one verse: "His finished play of yesterday was truly soul inspiring/When he appeared the people cheered: and mind he's worth admiring."

If not forgotten, he is no longer celebrated. Each day Craig would watch the game and overnight he would bring it to life in verse. Much better than doggerel, though not quite poetry in the strict sense, it captivated and was bought by thousands. And his life and times have been captured exhaustively and evocatively in a book, 'Captain of the Crowd', by Tony Laughton. If he existed today, of course, he would be out on his ear in no time.

Whispers down the ages

There are times when it seems that MCC exist only to ensure they take advantage of any commercial opportunity going (hence their involvement in the formative plans for a new, nine-team, city-based Twenty20 League in England).

Lest we forget, they still care about their pastoral duties to the game at large. Part of this is the excellent audio archive they have established. Former BBC man and prolific cricket author David Rayvern Allen proposed its establishment three years ago and there are now at least 100 interviews in the archive.

Rayvern Allen has recruited fellow interviewers who have spoken to players, commentators and administrators from around the world. It will be a source of cricket history for a million years. In some ways, itis what MCC are for.

Act as a shining example

Chance to Shine (remember them?) have just set up Street Chance. This is about taking cricket to inner-city London, initially 10 boroughs where the implement of choice might be a knife rather than a bat. "We hope we can have a real effect on disaffected youth," said Wasim Khan of Chance to Shine. "We want to engage young people through cricket." They will be there for at least three years.

Normal services resumed

The Army play the Navy at Lord's for the first time in 36 years later this month. It is the centenary match, a one-dayer rather than the three it took in 1908 when Robert Poore, who played three Tests for South Africa, scored 62 for the Army, though not, somewhat bizarrely, T20. Are the services behind the times?

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
Northern soul mecca the Wigan Casino
fashionGone are the punks, casuals, new romantics, ravers, skaters, crusties. Now all kids look the same
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album