Competition Result!

Having received some excellent entries, we have a winner. Some entries were funny, some were nostalgia fuelled and all were enjoyable to read.

However, one entry has been chosen as the winner of the signed copy of Ruling the World and a copy of the Official 1992 book. The winner from South Africa is @vee_bruin who spoke of the 1992 semi-final between England and South Africa being the catalyst for her love of cricket.

https://twitter.com/vee_bruin/status/1127647787468894208

An honourable mention goes to @TempoTaxElliott who ended his entry with a Murphy Su’a inspired hashtag. And for that I have decided to award a signed copy of my book as a ‘runners up’ prize.

Thanks to all for entering and congratulations to the winners!

* I’d appreciate it if the winners could send me a DM on Twitter so I can arrange to post the prizes *

Ruling The World 1992 CWC Competition

The prize is a signed copy of Ruling The World and a copy of the official book from the 1992 Cricket World Cup. Only 2,000 copies were produced and each one was individually numbered by hand.

I will post these to the winner, at my cost, anywhere in the world!

To enter: make sure you are following me on Twitter (@jnorthall) and send a tweet saying why you should win the competition. Your tweet should start ‘I should win the #RulingTheWorld competition because’. One entry only, please - in the event of multiple entries, I will take the first as the entry to the competition.

You have until Thursday 30th May at 10:30am BST (7:30pm AEST) to enter.

The best tweet in my opinion (my decision is final) will win - originality and humour will go a long way - and I will announce the winner by 2nd June and contact them by DM.

Good luck!

Cricket on the Gold Coast

First international cricket on the Gold Coast and I was there. The weather threatened to wash the match out. And then it stopped raining. What was served up was an intriguing ten over affair between Australia and South Africa. 

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The venue proved to be more than adequate for cricket. My only gripes were that the PA system wasn’t slightly audible and that the scoreboard on the big screen was woefully updated.  I imagine that the BBL and WBBL games on the Gold Coast will be better. Also, a crowd of less than 13,000 was disappointing.

The toss was won by Australia and they decided to bowl first. Chasing in T10 seems far more sensible than trying to work out what a reasonable score should be.  Australia’s fielding was exemplary. Stoinis was immense in the field. Maxwell’s juggling catch on the boundary was worth the admission price alone. 

Having bowled reasonably and fielded well, it needed a good batting effort to chase down less than two runs a ball. However, shot selection plus Morris’s spell ripped the heart out of the chase. Shamsi proved far too difficult to hit and so the game slipped away. Maxwell proved once again how vital he is to Australia in T20Is but was to no avail.

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100

Not ‘The Hundred’ but it is 100 days until my book, Ruling the World, is published. It seemed apt that this milestone should be the subject of my first blog post. The initial idea, and research for the book, started over three years ago but it has been since February that the majority of the work has been done. Although the final version is not yet ‘in the bag’, it is very close to being so.

The process has been strange from the start. From the initial submission being accepted, it has almost been an out of body experience. Although I have been writing online for several years, a published book is very much different territory. Speaking and meeting with many of the people who participated in 1992 has been exhilarating. More than once I’ve had to reel in the potential ‘fan boy’ mindset in order to get the research done.

Without having a reputation to fall back upon, some of my requests did fall on deaf ears. It’s only natural as ex-players must get many crackpots asking for all kinds of things. Bearing that in mind, I am deeply grateful for those that did respond. People have been so generous with their time and my incredibly detailed questioning about events from over a quarter of a century ago. Having immersed myself in the period, I have had many questions. Some of these were, in hindsight, impossible to answer. However, many have tried to accommodate my unreasonable requests about potential thoughts during the heat of battle.

Having pulled all of this together, along with my copious notes and many books purchased as ‘research’, I have attempted to tell the best story that I can. Transcribed interviews alone have amassed over 120,000 words at the last time of counting. My publisher’s word count was less than this so you can see where the problems start. I could have easily wrote double given the opportunity. However, it would not be as crisp as (I hope???) the final version will be. It’s an author’s curse. I know this now.

With 100 days to go, I am already filled with excitement and nerves. Author and journalist Daniel Lane said that I ‘sound like an expectant father!’. And he’s right to a degree. Except that the criticism in parenthood comes from the subject itself. Well, eventually when they grow up enough to tell you. In this case, the criticism can come from many more sources. Hopefully the criticism is constructive. I am prepared, to a degree, because you can’t please everyone.

In the book I have looked to tell the story of 1992 whilst bringing new material to the fore. Having access to organising committee records has been an opportunity to look under the canvas of the tournament. Getting to speak to Gerry Connolly, The Queen for those who know the story of the pre-final banquet, has brought a new dimension to Gooch and Botham’s walkout.

Thanks for reading and please consider pre-ordering the book!