Thursday, May 13, 2010

When Freddie Became Jesus

The problem with cricket is that far too many cricketers are involved. The problem is journalism is that it is shot through with journalists. Cricket journalism often is the worst of both words.

Ex-pros spew out retrospective platitudes; hacks shower us with irrelevant gossip and group-think rhetoric.

Jarrod Kimber, the industrious author of, is a writer. His writing is liberated from the ingratiating brown-nosing of hacks, and the hackneyed brow-beating of former pros. His voice is unique, and sings out sharply from the melee.

On the soul-trembling closeness of the first Ashes Test, he writes: “Note to all future Ashes series: start like this, or fuck off.”

The grey-beards of the printed press would not, and could not, entertain even the most fanatic fan for nearer 300 pages as JRod.

Although rip-roaringly fast, the book is well-paced. And we rattle around JRod’s mind throughout the course of the Ashes, bumping into travels in
England, piss ups with the journos and battling beds with wheels on.

JRod’s reflects back to the fans with their experiences. Cricket is a demanding game, and often interest wanes. Do we really care about cricket when we are recovering from a massive cooked breakfast?

But, it is the depiction of cricket that the book excels. Episodes of violent intensity, are analysed with a perspective, independent eye. Unfairly, JRod’s style has become characterised as hard-hitting, but it is his lightness of touch when engaging easily into the maelstrom of cricket debate as he compels the reader along a narrative of cricketing drama.

The quality of writing, sharpness of view and the wit will delight Balls fans. The book will satisfy any cricket, and will stand as a enjoyable read for many years to come.

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