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Author photo © Linda Nylind. No use without permission



What I Love about Cricket


“ the story of a summer when a 'master' cricket obsessive teaches his novice 'pupil' the wisdom of the game. I am cast as the supposed master and my sixteen-year-old daughter's new boyfriend - the skateboarding Boy Wonder - is the reluctant pupil. What unfolds is as much about fathers and daughters, love and life as it is about cricket.” You can get the idea from a piece I wrote for The Guardian here.




“So Balfour interleaves his feelings about his daughter with his feelings about cricket - which sounds rather unlikely, but he makes a very good job of it. Some of the stuff about his daughter is incredibly soppy, but then fathers do entertain such thoughts, and Balfour describes them very well. Sometimes, you might think, too well... As for the cricket, I know quite a bit about the subject and can testify that Balfour knows more than quite a bit. Not only does he seem to be able to play the game pretty well, he writes so well about it that you can just about say that no prior knowledge or even love of the game is necessary to enjoy the book. His description of That Catch in the 2005 Ashes series is unimprovable.”

Nicholas Lezard in the Guardian


“Sandy Balfour has a deep love of cricket, both as a spectator and an amateur club player (his 2007 batting average was 19), and in this book he does his best to share and spread that love. The descriptions of great cricketing moments are vivid (his six-page account of Collingwood's catch of Hayden off Harmison's bowling is so good I had to YouTube it) and remind you what a brilliant game cricket is. There are humorous anecdotes about the highs and lows of Sunday cricket, and nuggets of curious information, such as that ‘Trescothick’ is an anagram of ‘cricket shot’.”  Brandon Robshaw in the Independent


“There are some lovely passages - in particular on the tense climax of a club game and a schoolboy coaching session from Bob Woolmer. Balfour’s love for his daughter is also expressed beautifully and without syrupy sentiment.” Wisden Cricket Monthly, May 2009


“Surprisingly enough, and as part of my effort to read books that don't fit my normal criteria ("no sport" is a big one), I absolutely loved it... It's the best test of great writing - if an  author can write about something utterly pointless and boring and make it not just interesting, but [leave the reader] wanting to know a little more, then that is great writing.” Otago Daily Times


“A warm, funny, realistic and affectionate book that uses one man’s adoration of cricket and his inability to communicate it to those that he loves as a metaphor for a father’s role in an increasingly adult daughter’s life. And, somehow, it works perfectly.” All Out Cricket, May 2009


“Highly entertaining.” Sir Tim Rice


“Delightful stuff - funny and poignant - the perfect hors d’oeuvre to the cricket season”

Michael Simkins, author of Fatty Batter


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