Episode 4: Cricket anyone? Anywhere?

Cricket authors (and obsessives) Peter Oborne and Richard Heller have launched a new podcast to help deprived listeners endure a world without cricket. They chat regularly about cricket topics – hoping to keep a good line and length but with occasional wides into other subjects.

In their latest cricket podcast Peter Oborne and Richard Heller discuss the prospects of seeing or playing any cricket in season 2020, in Britain and worldwide. They analyse the health and political obstacles that must be overcome for cricket and other sports to escape from lockdown. They speculate on the adaptations cricket might have to make if social distancing is still in force (matches with no live spectators? all fielders outside the circle? no on-field umpires?) They describe the financial threat to local community and social cricket clubs from the lack of match fees and bar receipts.

They present some great patrons of the game – including the only living saint to have played first-class cricket – and celebrity cricket lovers such as Trevor Howard (who behaved badly to a great England player). They discuss the celebrated opening pair of Terence Rattigan and Victor Rothschild.

They introduce another member of the Philosophers’ XI: Socrates, a fine opening batsman for Athens in their Ashes series against Sparta, but flattered by his personal scorer, Plato.

And will they finally reveal the terrible secret behind the run-out of Jeffrey Archer?

 


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Peter Oborne has been the chief political commentator for the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, a maker of several documentaries and written and broadcast for many different media. He is the author of a biography of Basil D’Oliveira and of Wounded Tiger, a history of Pakistan cricket, both of which won major awards.

Richard Heller was a long-serving humorous columnist on The Mail on Sunday and more briefly, on The Times. He worked in the movie business in the United States and the UK, including a brief engagement on a motion picture called Cycle Sluts Versus The Zombie Ghouls. He is the author of two cricket-themed novels A Tale of Ten Wickets and The Network. He appeared in two Mastermind finals: in the first his special subject was the life of Sir Gary Sobers.

Jointly, he and Peter produced White On Green, celebrating the drama of Pakistan cricket, including the true story of the team which lost a first-class match by an innings and 851 runs.

Peter and Richard have played cricket with and against each other for a variety of social sides, including Parliament’s team, the Lords and Commons, and in over twenty countries including India, Pakistan, the United States, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, France, Greece, Australia, Zimbabwe, New Zealand and Morocco.

The Podcast was produced by Bridget Osborne and James Willcocks at The Chiswick Calendar.