Cricket Uncut

A group blog run by professional cricket writers from across the world

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The truth about cellphones

Mike Marqusee writes in War Minus the Shooting:
A cellphone is a definitive postmodern accessory, sported by stockbrokers, drug dealers and political professionals, linking individuals without forming a community, indeed fragmenting existing communities.

Um, excuse me, there's a postmodern vibration on my thigh. And, ah, have you read this?

(Quote courtesy Sid.)
amit varma, 5:27 PM| email this to a friend | permalink | homepage |

Monday, May 16, 2005

The precocious baby, and selectors' marriages

Fine writers, strange sentences. Two of our better cricket writers, Tim de Lisle and Mike Atherton, recently wrote pieces that were otherwise excellent but contained one curious sentence each. First, from a piece by Atherton in the Sunday Telegraph, comes this:
Having rattled up only 86 runs from seven innings, Marcus Trescothick's new baby is not the only thing at the moment that will be giving him sleepless nights.

This indicates, obviously, that baby Trescothick has already embarked upon a cricketing career, and it is hard to see why Atherton should complain about that. And then, there is this sentence from de Lisle's column in the Times:
The No 5 spot was up for grabs as the selectors made Graham Thorpe wait after twice pulling out with marital problems.

This sentence isn't exactly wrong, but it's ambiguous: when I first read it, I assumed that England's selectors collectively had marital problems, and poor Thorpe was suffering for it.

Both these men are such fine writers that I am assuming the copy desk twisted sentences around to produce these errors. (Cricket Writing Commandment 1: Blame the subs.) And as Chandrahas, who brought my attention to these sentences, pointed out, both pieces contain some excellent writing, especially de Lisle's superb paragraph on Alan Wells. We shall savour the writing, but shall not deprive ourselves of a chuckle at Trescothick's talented child or England's selectors' marital woes.
amit varma, 5:23 PM| email this to a friend | permalink | homepage |

A confusion over initials

If you were to look inside the Wisden Cricketers Almanack 2005, you would imagine that I have written for it. The report for the Indian tour to Bangladesh in 2004-05 is supposedly by Amit Varma. Why "supposedly"? Well, Anand Vasu, my colleague at Cricinfo, wrote that report.

I had written something for the 2004 Almanack, and they must have got confused over our initials and credited me for the piece. I feel terrible for Anand – it was a big step for me to have my name in the Almanack last year, and I presume he attaches a similar importance to it – though he is taking it well, making self-deprecating jokes and all that. Well, now you know.
amit varma, 5:14 PM| email this to a friend | permalink | homepage |