|Looking down on the ground|
I played cricket on Sunday for an Authors XI at the iconic Valley of the Rocks. The team is the revival of a side that last played a hundred years ago, when the likes of PG Wodehouse and Arthur Conan Doyle would turn out against teams of actors or publishers. Other incumbents included AA Milne and JM Barrie, the team finally disbanding in 1912. A ‘summer’ of fixtures is well under way now, including a match at Lord’s, with each game carefully chosen to illustrate an aspect of cricket. One of our side will write a chapter about each match. Alongside the book, we will be raising money for two charities – First Story and Chance to Shine – which promote literacy and cricket respectively.
|The Authors XI (front row) 1903|
Sunday’s game began auspiciously enough, the ground, which had resembled a lake the previous day, bathed in what would turn out to be a four-hour heat wave (don't knock it). Losing the toss, however, signalled a decline in fortune, the result a hard-fought defeat and one of our key players dispatched to hospital with a broken collar bone.
|The 2012 team|
I don’t think I disgraced myself and the final overs slipped by just before the sky emptied on us again. The book about the season will be published by Bloomsbury's Wisden imprint in 2013.