Hampshire Cricket History

A Beautiful Game
October 14, 2016, 2:35 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It is of course, despite our current ‘difficulties’ and arguments

It’s also the title of Mark Nicholas’s brand new book

I bought it yesterday so I’ve hardly started it yet but I’ll make some observations about it as I go along. I have dipped into his period as Hampshire captain – finding that most revealing already.

It’s £20 (h/b & well illustrated) but I bought it locally in Waterstones, signed and with £5 off.

Have you read it? Any thoughts?


11 Comments so far
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Not read it yet, but signed copies were free at the awards dinner

Comment by Ageas

Read the first part now and enjoyed doing it.

He seems very open about the early loss of his father and how he wrapped himself into the sport.

1985 and a Championship that got away….he fairly mentions a number of matches that might easily have been won but weren’t. IIRC there other matches where less cautious declarations would probably have made a difference; not quite enough of the 1961 captain in him maybe.

The background to the move away from Northlands makes for interesting reading. More than one tin of gloss paint and a view from on high rather.

Comment by StephenFH

I seldom come across a cricket book I cannot put down but Mark’s was just that
Having been involved on the committee during his captaincy his recollections brought back many memories and gave a fascinating insight into that period.
His views on the future of the game are very interesting and will inevitably cause much debate.
Although it inevitably deals with much of his life it is not an autobiography.
I would recommend it to all. (And I am not on commission).

Comment by John white

Cheers John and welcome to the Blog!

Comment by pompeypop

Hello John – how are you? Remember me from Dean Park with Fred? I am now living in the Philippines and often reflect on my nine years at Dean Park. Hope you are doing well….drop me a line at tony52bmrh@aol.com.

Comment by anorthernsoulweb

I have read more now – a bit like a box of chocolates at Christmas I’m picking all my favourites (the Hampshire bits). It’s very good for anyone who remembers his years at the club.

Comment by pompeypop

Enjoyed it immensely. Very evocative chapters on Hampshire and his team of the 1980s and a really emotional one on the Smith family. The 80s were of the course the decade after Arlott and so his character studies of those players fill an important historical gap. Equally warm on Benaud and Martin Crowe. His three chapters on batting, bowling and wicket keeping techniques are riveting. His contribution to tv coverage on channel 4 is far more than I imagined, exemplified by the fact he has 3 BAFTAs. Book also written for the Australian market. Interesting chapters on the Holland family and Channel 9. He also as an amazing address book from all walks of life. As usual, Mark is so refreshingly and enthusiastically positive. Like John, I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Comment by Alan Edwards

Welcome aboard Mr White,nice to hear-or read-from you John.
Not being a retiree yet and having to slog away to earn a crust I therefore can`t afford the book but I always remember Mark as being unlucky especially when I remember he was, like many HCCC players, on the brink of test cricket when he played in an “A” tour and contracted malaria I think, which stuffed things for sure.Does he make mention of this?

Comment by Brian Scrimshaw

Yes he does. Interesting tale of him losing out on the England captaincy by 3 votes to 2. Who won? Chris Cowdrey!!

Comment by Dave Allen

It is difficult to believe there were three people in the country let alone among the England selectors who would vote for Chris Cowdrey!

Comment by James

They probably were aiming for the Guinness Book of Records, James! Wasn’t that the summer when England had more captains in a season than ever before?

Comment by Ageas

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