World Series - St Louis Cardinals v Boston Red Sox - Game Six

Ed Miliband supports the Boston Red Sox. This is all anyone need know about him.

31 October 2013 18:03

It is, of course, beyond dismal that the Boston Red Sox won the World Series last night. The only upside to this is that it ensured the St Louis Cardinals,… Continue reading

There is a corner of Essex that appears to dislike Andy Murray. (ANDREW COWIE/AFP/Getty Images)

Anti-Murray mania in Essex

26 September 2013 17:36

Andy Murray may have crashed out of the US Open; but last time I checked he was still a hero in this land after 12 months of triumph. All of which… Continue reading

Clinton Jones, doing what he does best. Image: Getty

The flammability of dwarves

10 September 2013 11:46

An Aussie rules footballer was apparently in trouble for having set fire to a dwarf who had been booked to entertain the team at an end of season party. Clinton… Continue reading

England v Australia: 5th Investec Ashes Test - Day Five

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, if Pietersen don’t get ya, the ICC must.

26 August 2013 11:11

It was pretty dark. Darker, in fact, than it had been when the players were hauled off for bad light earlier in the test. Darker, too, than it had been in Manchester… Continue reading

England v Australia: 4th Investec Ashes Test - Day Four

Australia are just New Zealand in disguise (plus Michael Clarke and Ryan Harris)

13 August 2013 14:08

Thumping Australia is grand; thumping Australia without playing well almost feels like cheating. But in a good way. This is where England find themselves today. The Ashes are safe for… Continue reading

One of Finn Dean’s winning illustrations for the Folio Society’s Brave New World

Some brilliant book reviews

26 July 2013 15:06

As ever, the Spectator carries some splendid and erudite book reviews this week. There are contributions from stellar writers and thinkers such as Margaret MacMillan, Susan Hill, Alexander Chancellor and… Continue reading

Darkness falls over Dal Lake in Srinigar in Kashmir, scene of much of the non-sporting action of The Great Tamasha by James Astill and Cricket Cauldron by Shaharyar M. Khan. (TAUSEEF MUSTAFA/AFP/Getty Images)

Two riveting journeys to the heart of India and Pakistan

24 July 2013 9:42

50 summers have passed since C.L.R. James asked, ‘What do they know of cricket who only cricket know?’ James’s belief, that this quaint game reveals profound truths of those who play and… Continue reading

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England v Australia: 1st Investec Ashes Test - Day Five

What kind of Englishman is embarrassed by beating Australia?

16 July 2013 13:45

Four months ago I wondered if this might be the worst Australian side in history. Previous contenders for that badge of shame were weakened by political disputes at home. Michael… Continue reading

The Championships - Wimbledon 2013: Day Thirteen

Andy Murray Joins the Immortals in A Golden Age of Tennis

8 July 2013 14:52

Dunblane yesterday evening and, an hour after Andy Murray has won the men’s singles title at Wimbledon, the streets are still thronged with cheerful revellers. Smiles and saltires abound. Locals… Continue reading

Andrew Flintoff of England consoles Brett Lee of Australia after England defeated Australia on day four of the Second npower Ashes Test match between England and Australia at Edgbaston on August 7, 2005 in Birmingham, England.   (Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

Why do words and cricket go together?

4 July 2013 9:30

‘Words and cricket,’ wrote Beryl Bainbridge, ‘seem to go together.’ Why should this be? The Ashes series starting next week might not be the most eagerly anticipated of recent times,… Continue reading


Alex Salmond Drives into a Muirfield Bunker

2 July 2013 11:20

Unlike some politicians who profess an interest in sporting matters, Alex Salmond’s enthusiasm for golf, tennis and horse racing is genuine. He even supports the right football team. Nevertheless, the… Continue reading

A picture of despair. Nick Compton walks back to the pavilion following his dismissal during the recent test match against New Zealand. (LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images)

Amateur fantasies and professional realities

30 May 2013 10:05

As was to be expected, it rained. Drizzle was in the air at times yesterday when the Authors XI turned out to mark 150 years of The Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack… Continue reading

Surrey celebrating their win in 2011. Image: Getty

Cricket is more than a game

26 April 2013 11:38

Does this advert ring a bell? It showed a handsome young man hitting a cricket ball far into the distance. It appeared on the Tube last spring. The tagline read:… Continue reading

Mike Denness

Mike Denness and an All-Time Scottish Cricket XI

20 April 2013 13:59

Mike Denness, who died yesterday, could credibly claim to be the finest Scots-reared cricketer of the past 50 years. That is not, at least not quite, as small a claim… Continue reading

Ian Bell plays another breathtaking cover drive against New Zealand last month. (Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images)

Wisden finally merits the epithet ‘Cricket Bible’

17 April 2013 11:11

The man who christened Wisden ‘The Cricket Bible’ had little religion. Wisden is an unprepossessing sight: a 1,500 page tome surrounded by a flame-yellow dust jacket covered in mud brown… Continue reading

Bodyline Controversy

80 years ago, Bodyline ended and English cricket enjoyed a triumph

28 February 2013 19:13

Today, February 28th 2013, is the 80th anniversary of the conclusion to one of the finest – and certainly the most controversial – test series ever played. Eighty years ago… Continue reading

Action from the 2011 ICC World Cup second Semi-Final between Pakistan and India at Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium in Mohali, India, on March 30, 2011. Image: Getty

Cricket’s the loser

12 February 2013 19:11

Cricket glorifies some cheats. W.G. Grace often batted on after being clean bowled; such was the public demand to watch him. Douglas Jardine’s bodyline tactics revolutionised fast bowling: eventually making… Continue reading


Frank Keating, 1937-2013 - Spectator Blogs

26 January 2013 13:53

A while back a friend remarked that a piece I’d written – on cricket probably though, perhaps, darts – was “worthy of Frank Keating”. I can’t say if the compliment… Continue reading

Robbie Savage in his playing days. Image: Getty

The BBC: ‘It’s professional to cheat’

20 January 2013 15:15

In this morning’s Observer I write about the collapse of the old notions of honour and fair play in sport, banking, politics, journalism, the law and much else. As I… Continue reading


Lance Armstrong, the Greatest Cheat in the History of Sport, Prepares to Admit His Sins - Spectator Blogs

5 January 2013 20:21

The news, reported by the New York Times, that Lance Armstrong is preparing to confess his sins reminds me of this passage from the Book of Daniel: Thou, O king,… Continue reading

Shane Warne bowling at the height of his powers and in his own back yard in Melbourne, 2004. Image: Getty

The more Shane Warne practised, the more magical he got

5 January 2013 16:15

It was a placid start. A tubby kid with peroxide blond hair approached the crease in 6 easy steps. He skipped into the air and pulled his arms backwards to… Continue reading

Christopher Martin-Jenkins receives the MBE from the Prince of Wales for services to cricket journalism. Image: Getty.

Thank you, Christopher Martin-Jenkins

2 January 2013 13:01

The children who grew up when Christopher Martin-Jenkins began to commentate on cricket (both in print and on the air) have got old. CMJ’s 40-odd year career has been brought… Continue reading

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Australia v India - First Test: Day 1

Ricky Ponting's Recessional - Spectator Blogs

4 December 2012 15:02

With the Don at three and Keith Miller inked for the all-rounder’s role at six there are only two open spots in Australia’s all-time middle order. It is a measure… Continue reading

Sunset on the Somme. Image: Getty

First XI of the Fallen

10 November 2012 10:30

Who was the greatest sporting star who fought in the first world war? It is a difficult argument to settle at a century’s distance, with nobody still alive who saw… Continue reading

BMW PGA Championships - Previews

Shelf Life: Anton du Beke

24 October 2012 12:32

Stalwart of Strictly, winner of Rear of the Year 2011 and author of B is for Ballroom: Be Your Own Armchair Dancefloor Expert, dancer Anton du Beke is on this… Continue reading