Spectator sport

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A sporting chance from the brotherhood of cricket

19 April 2014

The brotherhood of cricket, as we know, transcends race, creed, class and nationality. It can also be a big help when it comes to dealing with the law, as this… Read more

(Photo: Tom Dulat/Getty)

In defence of the Boat Race

5 April 2014

It’s Boat Race time again and as soon as the BBC starts its broadcast on Sunday there will be those who invade Twitter and such places, having a moan faster… Read more

Italy v England - RBS Six Nations

Whisper it, but could England win the next Rugby World Cup?

22 March 2014

There are many eternal questions. Why do all aircraft, no matter how much your ticket cost, where you’ve come from, and what time you land, always dock at a gate… Read more


Victor Dubuisson and the true spirit of sport

8 March 2014

Just do it. The people who make trainers have been telling us to ‘Just do it’ for 25 years now. As a slogan it is simple and effective. (It was… Read more

Snowboard - Winter Olympics Day 12

In defence of the BBC’s Sochi commentators

22 February 2014

You can trust the BBC to behave like a leaf blown by any breeze, but even that spineless leviathan (if such a beast could exist) might have tried to grow… Read more

Australia v England - Game 3

It’s not just Kevin Pietersen. England needs a whole team of new heroes

8 February 2014

Englishmen used to be deported to Australia as a punishment. Now they get sent back to England as an act of mercy. There was not much of a campaign to… Read more

Australia v England - Women's ODI: Game 1

Five reasons to be cheerful about British sport (yes, even the cricket)

25 January 2014

James Cook’s third voyage as an English captain ended in disaster, stabbed to death and disembowelled by a pack of angry Hawaiians in 1779. The latest Captain Cook’s third tour… Read more

Viv Richards in Antigua, 1986 (Photo: Adrian Murrell/Getty)

Roger Alton: The day Viv Richards came to watch me play cricket

11 January 2014

Sir Vivian Richards came to watch me play cricket the other day. That’s the sort of sentence you wait a lifetime to write. What’s more it’s true. Sort of. I… Read more


Roger Alton: 2013 was even better for sport than 2012

14 December 2013

British sport used to be dead. You only have to look down the list of past winners of the Sports Personality of the Year award to see that. In 1994… Read more

Mitchell Johnson Photo: Getty

As England's cricketers wobble, the rugby team are finally getting it together

30 November 2013

My friend Miles was bowling in a festival of wandering cricket clubs in Oxford the other day. First wicket down and in walked an immaculately turned out Japanese gentleman. As… Read more

Michael Carberry (Photo: Getty)

If Carberry doesn't open for England, the world should split asunder

16 November 2013

In sport, as in life, you just don’t know where you stand any more. Look at the Premier League: no club knows where they stand except for Crystal Palace, who… Read more

roger federer

Sport: Serena is shining like never before

2 November 2013

The comic book Asterix in Switzerland is full of joys, not least the many jokes about Swiss obsessions with tidiness and bureaucracy. Watching the Basel Open last week, the audience… Read more

England star Jack Wilshere Photo: Getty

Adnan Januzaj should not pull on the Three Lions

19 October 2013

The more you see of Jack Wilshere, the more admirable he becomes. He seems to have taken wholeheartedly to fatherhood, a path he embarked on when he was barely out… Read more

Argentina v New Zealand: The Rugby Championship

Steer it, Ainsley — the America's Cup winner must drive a reasonably-priced car on Top Gear

5 October 2013

This weekend is the final round of the southern hemisphere’s Rugby Championship, the best tournament outside the World Cup and wildly better than the Six Nations. The most eye-catching fixture… Read more

BMW Championship - Round Two

Golf’s $10 million nobodies

21 September 2013

Golf has reached the eye-watering end of the season in the United States. By Sunday night, one man in a baseball cap will walk off the 18th green in Atlanta… Read more


Sport: Nigel Lawson on the Ashes

7 September 2013

Those of us who watched the last day of the final Ashes Test of the present series enjoyed a rare and unexpected treat — and I write as one who… Read more

Charley Hull of England and the European Solheim Cup Team lines up a putt Photo: Getty

Suddenly, the future of British golf looks bright

24 August 2013

Were you still up, as they used to say about Portillo in the 1997 election, for Hedwall? It was well past midnight on Sunday, the sort of hour when all… Read more

Is Gareth Bale really worth £105 million? Photo: Getty

Football’s still the big boy in the playground – even when the big boys aren’t playing

10 August 2013

It’s been a long, hot, soccerless holiday. There has been football about — the women’s European Championship, for example, and various age-group tournaments, all of which England departed with undue… Read more

Can anyone save Aussie cricket?

27 July 2013

Insomniacs, invalids and cricket obsessives (step forward yours truly) were probably the only people who stumbled on it, but BBC4 put out a cracking drama from Down Under the other… Read more

Wimbledon Winner Andy Murray Photocall

Spectator sport: Why Andy Murray may be the greatest sportsman Britain has produced

13 July 2013

There’s nothing we old folk like more than a chat about how poorly all our friends and acquaintances are. This is because, as anyone who understands the complex workings of… Read more

Australia cricket captain, Michael Clarke, and new coach Darren Lehmann Photo: Getty

There’s no feud like an old feud, especially in sport

29 June 2013

Many years ago, when I used to work for the Guardian, Germaine Greer, who was then a columnist for the paper, wrote a vicious little piece for the op-ed pages… Read more

Giving Directions

Spectator sport: Forget this year’s Formula 1 championship – here comes 1976

15 June 2013

Even if you don’t have a head for petrol, you can’t have failed to have noticed that the Formula 1 season thus far has been somewhat unsatisfactory. ‘Degradation’ and even… Read more

Stanley Matthews of Blackpool Football Club and England, 1952 Photo: Getty

A new biography of Stanley Matthews

1 June 2013

Lords laid on a nifty do the other day for the British Sports Book Awards, which was a great reminder of the quality of so much sports writing here. The… Read more

On the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, and on cricket’s new boy wonder, Joe Root

18 May 2013

The tear-flecked coverage and forests of newsprint devoted to the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson have made the resignation of Pope Benedict and the appointment of his successor look as… Read more

A wax figure of India's legendry cricket star Sachin Tendulkar is displayed at the Sydney Cricket Ground Photo: AFP/Getty

Spectator sport: Here’s hoping Sachin Tendulkar has an Indian summer after 40

4 May 2013

Sachin Tendulkar did not have the happiest of 40th birthdays last week. The man who has been worshipped as a god in India for most of his career lasted only… Read more