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!