Maximilian Hildebrand

Pavilion Despot

Herding Cats: The Art of Amateur Cricket Captaincy

By

Bloomsbury 244pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

Anyone who’s ever taken part in a Sunday cricket match will have some great stories to support the truth that it is the superior form of the game: trekking out each weekend to play hilariously named teams at wildly varied venues and pitches, some indistinguishable from a construction site, some Wodehousian idylls; turning up three players short and an hour late and yet winning with the help of a novice American plucked from the boundary rope who can’t hold a bat vertical but can slog thirty runs in an over. My own favourites as an amateur captain include a sumptuous half-century by a batsman high on magic mushrooms, the abject terror of it all heightening his senses, and one of my team-mates going to join the opposition for the remainder of a match, so furious was he that I had put him at nine in the batting order instead of his usual three.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'One of the reasons for its longevity is that it has virtually nothing to say about science and technology at all,… ,
    • 'The characters in many of these stories are trapped in the obsessive present tense of their own thoughts; in the m… ,
    • 'Libraries, for much of their existence, have embodied in microcosm many of the characteristics of the totalitarian… ,
    • 'Moss and Cynthia buy several properties through which to launder their ill-gotten gains, take lots of drugs, have… ,
    • 'Never mind the imperial cult. This is the cult of Boris. What happened to Rome?' From the LR archive:… ,
    • Thirty-two years ago this month, we published Muriel Spark's short story, 'A Playhouse Called Remarkable' Read it… ,
    • Time travel, bicycles and white horses populate @WomackPhilip's roundup of children's books by @marcussedgwick,… ,