The problem with being one of, if not the best in the world at your chosen craft, is that the world in return expects that best on each occasion. Wanting all of a person, all of the time, is a pressure, an expectation which we’ve recently seen rest heavily on the shoulders of some of the world’s top athletes. Ben Stokes, Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka to name the most high profile few.
The full version of this article was printed in The Telegraph on 4 August 2021 and can be accessed here.
Australian coach – who has worked for last nine years in England – has endeared himself to county fans because he is emotionally invested.
“The short answer is probably not,” says Jason Gillespie, Sussex’s departing head coach, shying away from the question of whether he might, one day, want to venture beyond the world of cricket.
It seems an obvious question to ask, and not just because Gillespie’s impending departure from English cricket – where he has worked for the last nine years, first at Yorkshire and then, since 2018, at Hove – for a role with the South Australian Cricket Association is a clear moment to appraise his career.
The full version of this article was printed in The Telegraph on 30 September 2020 and can be accessed here.
It’s time to replace the record player because this one’s broken. England have played the West Indies three times this year and after Wednesday night’s effort have beaten the tourists in similar fashion on each occasion, notching up a 46, 47 and now another 47-run win.
Float it up and pace off was the order of the evening as England’s three spinners, Mady Villiers, Sarah Glenn and Sophie Ecclestone, picked up six wickets between them. Unless you’ve got the pinpoint accuracy of the fiery opener Katherine Brunt, once again going at under three per over, it was hardly even a choice but to opt for slow and steady.
The full version of this article was printed in The Telegraph on 23 September 2020 and can be accessed here.
The silent treatment. It’s one of those theories, reverse psychology if you will, that is applied to those opponents who are believed to crave the limelight, the attention. Those who need something or someone to rise up against in order to perform at their best. No surprises, then, that it was tried by many against one Pietersen, Kevin.
The full version of this article was printed in The Telegraph on 7 September 2019 and can be accessed here.
They were, both, a once-in-a-generation match. A once-in-a-generation innings. Only there were two. Within 42 days of each other, in fact. Perhaps it was fate, written in the stars. The answer to the great question of life, the universe and everything is, of course, 42. “42 days, in this instance,” said Douglas Adam’s supernatural computer, Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.
The full version of this article was printed in The Telegraph on 26 August 2019 and can be accessed here.
Twenty-something Stuart Broad was all about the headlines. The eight-for at Trent Bridge, five-for-one at Newlands or dismantling India in Manchester. He formed a partnership with James Anderson that beat all that had gone before. There was always a sense, however, of Anderson as the reliable performer, Broad the young upstart, blowing hot, but occasionally cold.
The full version of this article was printed in The Telegraph on 17 August 2019 and can be accessed here.
The instinctive reaction was one of pity. A man doing his job, not particularly well, but doing it nonetheless. Umpire Joel Wilson struck a lonely figure in the middle of the vast expanse of Edgbaston, surrounded by a crowd known for its intensity and a press box notorious for its unforgiving nature. The less said about social media the better.
The full version of this article was printed in The Telegraph on 4 August 2019 and can be accessed here.
About halfway through the afternoon session on day three, England’s ninth-wicket stand tilted from the vaguely irritating to the deeply frustrating phase for Australia. The interactive scoreboard had just flashed up a 50, the partnership neatly compiled between Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad, before the television cameras quickly panned to Steve Smith.
As the country froze one man held his nerve. Effortlessly he glided in, like a ship soaring across unruffled seas, Jofra Archer, a man who, just a year ago, no one in the country could have known might be here, delivering for England.