Cricket, writing and the allure of failure

The life of a cricketer, like the life of a writer, can be a lonely one. At least the two activities provide one constant companion: the feeling of being a failure

By Anthony McGowan for The Nightwatchman, of the Guardian Sport Network

I suppose it’s revealing of the kind of person I am, that my abiding memory of Botham’s Ashes is not the triumph of the great man’s two crashing centuries, or that devastating spell of 5 for 1, or even of Bob Willis’s monstrous sex face as he rampaged in to take 8 for 43 at Headingley, but rather a sound: the clunk, like a slightly out-of-tune marimba, as a portly, bearded slow left-armer, Ray Bright, looking like the sort of country policeman who’d be glad of a lock-in and would happily turn a blind eye to any minor licensing misdemeanours in exchange for six pints of scrumpy and a frothing handjob from the barmaid, propelled his arm-ball into Botham’s middle stump.

“Botham fails again,” said a stern but not unsympathetic Jim Laker.

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