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Author Archive for Emma John

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The Spin | The Commonwealth of Cricket: sport, race and empire in powerful memoir

Ramachandra Guha’s A Corner of a Foreign Field was a landmark work and his new book finds him no less outspokenIt is nearly two decades since A Corner of a Foreign Field was published. The importance (not to say brilliance) of Ramachandra Guha’s work w…

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Embuldeniya’s spin for Sri Lanka stops England’s Joe Root winning the day | Emma John

The spinner received limited appreciation at this stripped-back show but his performance handed the hosts the edgeEven when full, the ground at Galle has rarely been a raucous venue. There’s something about its openness, not to mention the scenery and …

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The Spin | Quarantine psychology, the new element of a cricket team’s arsenal

Life in a biosecure bubble brings the challenge of finding motivation in empty grounds for introverts and extroverts alike The doom-mongers said this summer could be the end of cricket as we knew it. They were talking about the Hundred, obviously, not …

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Cricket coming home? Live return to BBC TV will not be like the 90s | Emma John

The coverage of Sunday’s England v Pakistan T20, the first match on the BBC in two decades, will be very different to the days of Peter West and Tony LewisNostalgia is the comfort blanket of our times. The BBC knows this, which is why it spent lockdown…

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The Spin | Women’s cricket well placed to avoid another male-led stunting of progress

Opportunities for women to play the game were historically limited but the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Trophy and a new book make the case that they will be at its heart in futureThe history of women’s cricket seems a relatively recent one. If you were asked …

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The greatest: Martina Navratilova – an enduring champion brave enough to be herself | Emma John

The nine-time Wimbledon singles champion’s legacy has never been about only records, titles and longevity. She possessed a power that upended everything: identity • Who’s your choice? Have your sayHana Mandlikova was an enthusiastic member of the Spar…

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Lockdown’s biggest sporting lesson? That imperfection is valuable too | Emma John

As Ben Stokes has shown, recognising perfection is impossible and not worrying about failure can be key to great successIn Ford v Ferrari – the Oscar-nominated film that tells the story of Le Mans 1966 – there’s a memorable scene where driver Ken Miles…

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Elite sports have plenty to offer in the war against coronavirus | Emma John

It is 100 years since Britain’s sports grounds were last used to treat the sick – none of us expected it to happen in our lifetimeIn the last months of the first world war, a ship arrived at Manchester from the US, its passengers deathly ill. They were…

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GB hockey captain Hollie Pearne-Webb: ‘These things gel you, going through tougher times’

Great Britain’s hockey captain, who played a key part in the Rio gold, believes the postponement of the Olympics will give extra time to develop her young squadWhen Hollie Pearne-Webb was growing up, she had an indoor pastime that drove her mum potty. …

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Polly Swann: ‘We have to believe there’s light at the end of the tunnel’

A silver medallist in Rio, the rower will continue her home training programme until the Olympics are officially postponedUntil last week, Britain’s rowers were some of the few sportspeople in the country still engaged in full-blooded competition. Grea…

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Lopping a day off Test matches – just how insecure does cricket now feel? | Emma John

Nothing compares with five-dayers as the sport’s ultimate battle, so why shorten them? Are some sports just crisis junkies? Less than a week into a new decade cricket already needs rescuing again. So forget all you can of the past six months – a World …

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Swimming the latest sport to throw a small but tasty morsel to the masses | Emma John

Bitesize varieties of sports are all the rage and this time the revolution is in the poolIn the thoroughly bingeable Succession there is a memorable moment when Roman Roy – lazy scion of a Murdoch-esque family empire – tries to win over the chief execu…

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Emily Scarratt focuses on France after whirlwind week and world award | Emma John

After a 12,000-mile round trip to Japan where she was named world player of the year, England’s totemic centre gets back to work on Saturday – with the 2021 World Cup a longer-term goalThe England centre Emily Scarratt is one of the best readers of pla…

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Even in defeat, English sport still gives us much to cheer | Emma John

A new emphasis on team spirit rather than great individuals is paying dividendsEngland rugby fans know what to expect. Yesterday’s result in Yokohama is going to hurt for a while yet, much like the bruises that the South African forwards left all over …

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Champagne moments have popped up everywhere in an intoxicating summer | Emma John

A scrapbook of cricket memories would include the miracle of Headingley and much, much moreThere has been some suggestion, when analysing the individual performances at the Oval Test, that certain players are looking tired from their long summer of int…

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The Spin | Goodbye misery, hello glee: Ashes miracle was fans’ Test of character

Headingley 2019 has left English sceptics, cynics and pessimists in dreamland – being proved wrong never felt so rightThere are things you can learn about yourself only in extremis: when your plane ditches in the Arctic tundra, for instance. Instead of…

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The Spin | Pavel Florin: ‘I came to England to speak with people. This is espionage’

The Romanian bowler received VIP treatment at Lord’s, but the drive to grow cricket in Romania and Europe needs attentionPresumably, these days, there is some sort of support group for those who have become overnight internet sensations. Somewhere some…

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The Spin | Pavel Florin: ‘I came to England to speak with people. This is espionage’

The Romanian bowler received VIP treatment at Lord’s, but the drive to grow cricket in Romania and Europe needs attentionPresumably, these days, there is some sort of support group for those who have become overnight internet sensations. Somewhere some…

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Why it is hard to be carried away by the World Test Championship | Emma John

The Ashes may have grabbed the attention of a nation. A new Test competition has notCricket has always had a peculiar vocabulary. The sport’s baffling use of language is part of its charm – naming a boundary fielder after a Graham Greene novel, for ins…

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Why it is hard to be carried away by the World Test Championship | Emma John

The Ashes may have grabbed the attention of a nation. A new Test competition has notCricket has always had a peculiar vocabulary. The sport’s baffling use of language is part of its charm – naming a boundary fielder after a Graham Greene novel, for ins…