Episode 1: A Preview of Wisden 2020

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

In the first, they anticipate the imminent joyous arrival of Wisden Cricketers Almanack, all the more joyous for recalling the most glorious English summer of cricket in living memory. They guess at its nominees for Five Cricketers of the Year and the Wisden cricket book of the year. They share memories of the notable cricketers who died, including Bob Willis, the great West Indians Basil Butcher and Seymour Nurse and, especially, their personal friend, Abdul Qadir, the Pakistani genius who reinvented legspin bowling. They also recall Gary Sobers scoring his last Test century with a monster hangover. They constantly exchange the esoteric facts beloved of cricketers, including Bhutan’s astonishing win over the might of China. In the present crisis, when cricket is banned, they wonder if illegal cricket matches will be played in secret and imagine the easy tactics the police could use to suppress them.

Episode 1: A Preview of Wisden 2020

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Not only cricket-lovers should enjoy the humour and insight although music-lovers may quail at the introduction in which the world’s cheapest pianist (Richard) plays his composition Rubato’s Theme.

Get in contact with the podcast by emailing obornehellercricket@outlook.com, we’d love to hear from you!

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Next episode – Episode 2: Publication of Wisden 2020

Listen to all episodes – Oborne & Heller on Cricket


Images above: Richard Heller with Abdul Qadir; Peter Oborne with Imran Khan

Listen to more episodes of Oborne & Heller

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, Spain, Portugal, France, Greece, Australia, Ireland, Zimbabwe, New Zealand and Morocco.

More than enough to talk about in a cricket podcast about a season when there isn’t any.

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

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