The hundred

My 46 days on the road with John Woodcock

Although it was a miracle that he survived until a few weeks before his 95th birthday, the death of John Woodcock, the unrivalled cricket correspondent of the Times from 1954 to 1988, has left an enormous hole in many people’s lives, not least my own. I first met Wooders, as he was known to one and all, at a party at the old Hyde Park hotel in Knightsbridge in May 1962. Two days later as a result of our conversation, I found myself at the Bat and Ball ground in Gravesend on behalf of the Times, without ever before having written a word in anger, trying to put together 500

The hateful Hundred is putting cash before cricket

The cricket at Cheltenham last week was reassuringly old–fashioned. In the last session of the fourth day, Gloucestershire’s bowlers took a flurry of wickets to beat Middlesex by 164 runs, watched by spectators who assemble at the college ground each July from all over England to renew a much-loved ritual. ‘Proper cricket,’ said a chap from Slad. They were joined, as ever, by dozens of retired cricketers, fed and watered in one of the tents which ring this most evocative of grounds. Little wonder those former players choose to hold their annual gathering in Cheltenham. Here they can bear witness to championship cricket as they once played it; a traditional

The deserted village green: is this the end of cricket as we know it?

Imagine an archetypal English scene and it’s likely you’re picturing somewhere rural. Despite losing fields and fields each year to developers, the countryside is ingrained in our collective consciousness as our unspoiled national haven. It is Albion’s Garden of Eden, with its Holy Trinity of village church, local pub and cricket ground. Englishness itself, as much as cricket, is the main theme of Michael Henderson’s genre-melding And That Will Be England Gone: The Last Summer of Cricket. The title alludes to Philip Larkin’s poem ‘Going, Going’, and the last summer was 2019, when Henderson, sportswriter and cultural critic, took a journey around the cricket grounds of his past. The international