Ed Smith

The best places to eat in and around London Bridge

Borough Market and the immediate vicinity is one of the best places to shop, eat, drink and socialise in the capital. London Bridge rail and bus station is one of the capital’s key transport hubs. Close to the City (and other businesses), on two key tube lines, and a gateway to both south London and

The prophetic fallacy

This book isn’t just about prediction, or even the limits of knowledge. It is about the ascent of man. According to Nate Silver, the American electoral analyst, the digital age and its explosion of knowledge constitute a great turning point in human history. Never before have we had so much evidence on which to base

All to play for | 4 February 2012

There was a time when sportsmen fretted about the morality of being paid to play. Now the question is whether you are taking money to win, or taking money to lose. Mervyn Westfield, the Essex fast bowler, was only 20 when he accepted £6,000 to bowl deliberately badly in a county match. Three Pakistani cricketers,

He knew he was wrong — Daniel Kahneman interview

When I was 13, my school cricket team received a visit from a top professional cricket coach, an intoxicating visit from the big leagues. I tried to hear what the great man was saying as he watched us, how he advised our teacher. ‘Never praise kids — they only mess it up next time,’ I

Strauss rules

Andrew Strauss is arguably the most successful England captain of the modern era. He shares with Mike Brearley the distinction of having beaten Australia at home and away, and this year he became the first captain to take England to the top of the official world Test rankings. Yet, unlike Brearley, Strauss is not talked

Delightfully not cricket

Even brilliantly accurate satirists can become boring unless they have something to say. That is the triumph of CrickiLeaks. Purporting to be a series of spoof Ashes diaries that reveal the innermost thoughts of famous English and Australian cricketers, CrickiLeaks doesn’t just superbly capture the players’ voices and vocabularies, it also makes them say surprising,

Swards of honour

Our independent schools have a proud tradition of cricket — and cricket grounds.Former England batsman (and Old Tonbridgian) Ed Smith picks his favourites   The excellence of the cricket grounds of England’s independent schools is a double-edged privilege. On the one hand, they are some of the most beautiful grounds on which to play and watch

Amateur hour

Thrilling as the race was, last week’s Cheltenham Gold Cup will leave an even more remarkable legacy: the winning jockey, Sam Waley-Cohen, did it as an amateur. Being a jockey isn’t his day job — he is the CEO of a dental business — and he races for love, not money. It’s not supposed to

Ashes to Ashes

Australian cricket’s fearsome tradition of toughness may be coming to an end This is not wise. In fact, it is madness. For me, as a former professional cricketer, it is a hostage to fortune. For England, with the Ashes fast approaching, it could be worse: I am tempting fate and inviting revenge. It would be

Have pity on Pakistan

Cricket is often said to be a game of inches. An inch is the difference between a fatal edge to the slips and a safe play-and-miss; an inch is the difference between being clean bowled and a mere dot ball; only an inch separates a no-ball from a legitimate delivery that could take a wicket.

Why it’s more than just a game

Simon Barnes, the brilliant writer about sport and nature, would never claim he has had much influence. No, he would say with a journalistic shrug, influence? Me? Of course not: I merely describe, amuse and draw attention to significant events. But his sportswriting, some of it for The Spectator, has been so original and insightful

Winning against the odds

How serious a subject is sport? We know it is dramatic and revealing, but beneath the veneer of action and celebrity does sport justify a more considered analytical approach? There is a dual aspect here: does thinking have much to do with winning, and, if so, can the lessons of victory enhance our thinking about