Our Cricket Writers – Volume 6
GEOFF ARMSTRONG has worked – as writer, editor or publisher – on more than 100 sports titles, including books with Steve Waugh, Ian Healy, Mike Whitney, David Boon, Bob Simpson, Merv Hughes, Justin Langer, Michael Bevan and Ricky Ponting. Armstrong is the author of A Century of Summers: 100 Years of Sheffield Shield Cricket, ESPN’s Legends of Cricket and The 100 Greatest Cricketers. Outside of cricket, he has worked with identities such as Wayne Bennett, Ian Heads, Peter Brock, Arthur Beetson and Gordon Bray, and is the co-author, with Peter Thompson, of Phar Lap and They Shot Phar Lap, Didn’t They?, the story of the 1930 Melbourne Cup.
JOHN BENAUD, brother of Richie, played for New South Wales from 1966-67 to 1972-73, captain in two seasons. He played in three internationals against the World XI in 1971-72 and three Tests for Australia against Pakistan and the West Indies in 1972-73. He was an Australian selector from 1989 to 1993, and a former chairman of selectors for New South Wales. He is a journalist by profession, former editor of The Sun, Sydney, and a cricket correspondent for Sydney’s Sun-Herald and London’s Sunday Independent.
JEREMY BOURKE has been a journalist for 42 years, specialising in newspaper and magazine production and editing. He worked on the Sun (Sydney), Herald (Melbourne) and Leader (Victoria) newspapers, was a writer, columnist and editor on New Idea magazine, and since 1998 has been editor of Royal Auto, the RACV member magazine in Victoria. He fell in love with cricket when, as a 12-year-old, he saw New South Wales bowl out Queensland twice in a day in 1967, and was sometime able, during free periods, to slip out of Sydney High School to catch a session across the road at the SCG. He was an early member of the Australian Cricket Society in Sydney (taking a wicket via a stumping off a wide in the 1977 ACS tournament in Melbourne – his only scalp for the society) and has been a member of the Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians since the 1970s.
RONALD CARDWELL is an insolvency practitioner with a lifelong interest in sport. When his playing days were finished he commenced writing and publishing books on cricket. His company, The Cricket Publishing Company, has published 25 books. This year he has co-written, firstly with eminent NZ writer Bill Francis, the well-received The Team That Never Played- Wahine and the 1968 Otago University Cricket Team as well as the centenary history of the NSW Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association with David Jenkins titled No Dazzling Deeds with Bat or Ball and It’s Not About Me – The Brian Taber Story, both with David Jenkins. He is currently working on three cricket books that will be published in the next 12 months. He is also a Trustee of the New Zealand Cricketers Hardship Trust and a VicePresident of the Australian Cricket Society in Sydney, which he founded in 1972. He is married with four daughters.
RODNEY CAVALIER was born in Sydney, New South Wales and has always had an interest in cricket. Whilst never achieving great heights as a player he has contributed to the game in many ways. Following school at Putney and Fort Street Boys’ High School he graduated from Sydney University and moved into the world of politics. In 1978 he was elected as a Labor member of the NSW Parliament and served later as a minister in the portfolios of Energy, Finance and Education. Following 10 years in parliament he worked in a number of government-appointed positions befitting his capacities and interests. He is an avid book collector, especially of those on cricket. In 2010 he wrote a well-researched book Power Crisis: The Self Destruction of a State Labor Party. A further book, Bronzed: The Basil Sellers SCG Sports Sculptures Project, was penned by Cavalier in 2013. He is a former chairman of The Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust. He was appointed an officer of the Order of Australia in 2004 and a life member of the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust in 2014.
MIKE COWARD is one of Australia’s most experienced and travelled cricket writers and commentators. Formerly the chief cricket writer for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Advertiser, Adelaide, and a long-time columnist for The Australian, he has covered the game throughout the world since 1972. An accomplished public speaker and emcee, he has broadcast the game on radio and television, and written, ghosted or edited 12 cricket books. He was interviewer for each of the eight programs in ABC television’s renowned Cricket History Series and is overseeing the establishment of a unique archival interview presentation at the Bradman International Cricket Hall of Fame at Bowral. His books include Cricket Beyond the Bazaar (1990), Australia vs the new South Africa (1994), The Baggy Green- The pride, passion and history of Australia’s sporting icon (2oo8 with Michael Fahey) and A Century of Achievement- The Players and People of the St George DCC (2010). His latest book, Champions (2013), showcases aspects of the interview archive from the International Cricket Hall of Fame. Due out in January 2015 is a book put together by Coward, The Bradman Museum’s World of Cricket, a stunning visual celebration of cricket from three of the world’s outstanding photographers together with slides taken by Sir Donald Bradman.
CHARLE DAVIS is a statistician and cricket historian of the highest standing. Despite being of the view that his maths lecturers would suggest that he was not gifted numerically, since his university days he has made his mark as a statistician, writing articles in many cricket journals, on the internet and setting up his own blog Z-Score’s Cricket Stats. Davis enjoys the statistical side of cricket and loves poring over player performances. He says: “Statistics never divulge the full truth, but they can be used to provide some useful context for cricketers from other eras.” His magnum opus The Test Match Archive Volume 1: Test Cricket in Australia 1877-2002 is the ultimate Test match cricket publication, presenting the full scores of every Test match in a new format with 21st century reporting standards.
Dr MICHAEL DOWN has written five books on various aspects of cricket history and has been proprietor for 25 years of Boundary Books, boutique cricket books publisher and dealer in rare cricket books, pictures and memorabilia. He also sits on the MCC Committee which overlooks the museum and collection at Lord’s. For 3o years he enjoyed a career in the nuclear industry in the United Kingdom, United States of America and Germany.
PETER FENTON has achieved much in his life. Born in NSW country two of Boggabri, he played rugby union for Parramatta and the conclusion of his playing days became a highly-regarded rugby union coach. He spend over 30 years as a sound mixer ending as chief sound mixer on over 150 Australian films which included Newsfront, Caddie, Picnic at Hanging Rock, My Brilliant Career, The Getting of Wisdom, Evil Angels, Gallipoli and Phar Lap. He has written and co-produced two documentary films on the Wallabies and a brilliant documentary on Les Darcy. He has written extensively on subjects as diverse as Les Darcy, the 1927-28 Waratahs, ‘Boy’ Charlton and World War II nurse Oliver Weston. He is a wonderful poet and has published two volumes of poetry. He is an after-dinner speaker with more stories than dinners that he has spoken at over the years. A true raconteur. He is the recipient of an OAM for services to the Australian film industry.
RIC FINLAY, after a fulfilling career as a mathematics teacher for 34 years, was able to depart the world of education for the statistical world of cricket. He is the founder, co-creator and data manager for CSW, the largest commercially available statistical cricket database for personal computers in the world. He has always enjoyed cricket, being a statistician and a score for radio and television since 1984. He has worked with the ABC, Fairfax Media, ESPN, and C7 for more than 30 years. Ric has written and collaborated on a number of cricket books including Alan Kippax and Island Summers – A History of Tasmanian Representative Cricket. Away from cricket the quietly-spoken Findlay s a member of a barbershop quartet, and the singing tenor has seen a few awards come his way in competitions.
IAN GREY whilst never having played cricket at a senior level has a strong knowledge of the game in statistics and print. Professionally he was an accountant and during his early school years started collecting cricket books. He now has a significant collection of cricket books to which he constantly refers. He is currently a panel judge on the Jack Pollard Australian Cricket Society book of the year.
MURRAY HEDGCOCK remains Australian at heart, despite living in London for half a century. Born in South Melbourne, he completed a cadetship on the The Geelong Advertiser before heading for England at the age of 21 in hope (eventually dashed) of seeing Hassett’s Australians hold the Ashes. Back in Australia, he joined The News in Adelaide, and was posted to the News Limited London Bureau in 1966, becoming bureau chief, but writing cricket for The Australian whenever possible, before early retirement in 1991. He has contributed to Wisden, Wisden Cricket Monthly, The Cricket International, The Times and other publications. A Wodehouse enthusiast, he compiled in 1997 a study of the author’s love of cricketing companionship of his London-borne daughter Georgia, who is loyal to England as he is to Australia. He is currently working on a book about Major Rowland Bowen.
GEOFFREY LAWSON was born in the New South Wales country town of Wagga Wagga. He played grade cricket for the University of NSW (1976-1992), graduating in 1983 with a Bachelor of Optometry. In the 1977-78 season he was selected for New South Wales as a right-arm fast bowler. He continued to serve New South Wales with distinction as a player untili991-1992, as captain (1988-1992) and then coach (1995-1997). In 1979 he was a replacement for the Australian tour oflndia and subsequently made seven tours with Australian teams. His 46-match Test career (1980-1989) yielded 180 wickets at 30.56. Since retirement he has written for The Sydney Morning Herald and cricket magazines and commentated for the ABC and – Sports. Lawson coached the Pakistan national side between 2007 and 2009 and is currently the New South Wales fast bowling coach. In 1993 he wrote a book titled Henry: The Geoff Lawson Story. He was awarded an Order of Australia in 1991.
PETER LLOYD was born in the Blue Mountains playing backyard cricket with his younger brothers and catching steam trains to Sydney to watch Sheffield Shield matches at the SCG. His heroes then were Norm O’Neill, Brian Booth and – even though he was a Queenslander – Peter Burge. Now retired after 20-plus years of international cricket public health development in countries as disparate as Mongolia, India, Indonesia and East Timor, Peter has time to devote to his great passion – collection and reading cricket books. (His currently tally is around the 4000 mark.) His latest goal is to collect all books listed in Charles Britton’s 1929 publication 100 Best Cricket Books. He has a Masters Degree in Health Management and a PhD in the social history of medicine.
GREG MANNING has taught literature at the Townsville campus of James Cook University since 1989. He grew up in Newcastle, New South Wales, where he played his cricket and completed undergraduate study, before postgraduate study at the University of Sydney. After 24 years away, in matters cricket and football he continues to support New South Wales. His occasional writings on cricket have appeared in Wisden Australia, Meanjin Quarterly and The Oxford Book of Australian Essays. He collects cricket books and reads widely on the game.
GUY MASTERS is most knowledgeable on cricket and rugby union. He has been a keen observer at numerous cricket and rugby unions Tests, and involved in coaching and encouraging sportsmen at Saint Ignatius’ College in Sydney where is currently Director of Boarding. His academic teaching is and always will history, it is his passion. He reads widely on the game, has a large sporting library and is most astute observer of cricketers’ techniques.
LYNN McCONNELL is a journalist/author/historian born in rural Southland in Mataura but who has worked in newspapers in Invercargill, Blenheim and Wellington in both general and sports journalism. He was sports editor of The Southland Times and The Evening Post before internet economics, or lack of them, resulted in the office closing down For nine years he was senior editor of the New Zealand branch of Sportal.co.nz. In that time he studied at Massey University’s Albany campus in Auckland for a Graduate Diploma in History and is working towards achieving a Masters in History. Currently writing his 18th book, his previous publications include the autobiography of Ewen Chatfield, the Encyclopedia of New Zealand Cricket and the story of New Zealand’s first 50 Test victories, The First Fifty. He is now working as a freelance writer in Auckland.
NEIL ROBINSON has the wonderful position at Lord’s as the Library and Research Manager. The library houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of cricket literature. Commencing his life as a librarian in Aberdeen, Scotland and then Northamptonshire Public Library, Robinson, with a wide skill set, was in a position to take up the appointment at Lord’s. Answering numerous queries from around the cricket world has meant that cricket history has become part of the Robinson brief. It is apart of the job that he enjoys. Two book have come from the pen of Robinson, one on the Ashes of 2005 and the well-received The Long Shot Summer. The highly-acclaimed MCC Magazine comes out under the guidance of Peter, who seeks to include articles of interest based on the research that goes on in the Lords library and museum.
PATRICK RODGERS is a history teacher at St Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill in Sydney and coach of the College First XI cricket team. A former lower grade player for Sydney University and a teacher and First XI coach at The Scots College, Sydney and Edinburgh Academy in Scotland, he has a passion for cricket history. He has published historical pieces in the Baggy Green journal, the history section of The Daily Telegraph and the Roar. He is married to Moya and has four children.
JOSEPH ROMANOS is perhaps New Zealand’s most prolific writer having written, co-authored or collated with the principal authors of over 50 books. Most are on sport, with his books on cricket players and rugby union players prominent. He has researched well over the years, ensuring that not only are his books quality but very readable. His books Chris Lewis (the tennis player), Arthur’s Boys, Merv Wallace, New Zealand’s Top 100 History Makers, 100 Great Rugby Characters and The Innings of a Lifetime are standouts. He has been the editor of the Wellingtonian, has worked on The Dominion Post and these days is a media and public relations manager.
PAUL SHEAHAN (AM) is a former Victorian and Australian cricketer who played in 31 Tests between 1967 and 1973. He scored 1594 runs at 33.91 in Tests and 7987 runs at 46.16 in all first-class matches. Educated at Geelong College, he became headmaster of Melbourne Grammar School from 1995 until 2009. His public life has included service on many boards, both sporting and wider community, including Presidency of the Victorian Cricketers’ Club and membership of the Australian Cricketers’ Association for significant service to secondary education as a teacher, and through roles with sporting, charitable and community organisations.
BOB THOMAS was outstanding a schoolboy sportsman. Born in the NSW country city of Orange, all ball sports were natural to Bob. He represented NSW Country at football and cricket before coming to Sydney to undertake teacher training. Selection in the Australian Schoolboys cricket team in 1969 to the West Indies was followed by cricket stints with Durham in the UK and in Barbados. He played football for Cronulla-Sutherland in Sydney before turning his mind to education where he was a highly respected educator in NSW. During that time he played cricket for Sutherland, Gordon and Lindfield cricket clubs. These days he involves himself as a Board member of two overseas educational and charity institutions. These days family, reading and following sport, especially South Sydney FC, enable Bob to have a full life.
BERNARD WHIMPRESS, a noted and well-respected Australian sports historian and author, has been writing and publishing on sport, in particular cricket, since 1975. Whimpress lives in Adelaide and holds a doctorate in history from Flinders University. He is currently working as a freelance writer, historian and editor. He is the former curator of the Adelaide Oval Museum and edited and published the Australian cricket journal Baggy Green from 1998 to 2010. Between 2010 and 2012 he lectured in sports journalism at the University of South Australia. His 29 books include Adelaide Oval Test Cricket 1884-1984 (1984 with Nigel Hart), Passport to Nowhere (1999), Chuckers: A History of Throwing in Australian Cricket (2002 and 2004) and The Official MCC Ashes Treasurers (2009, 2010 and 2013) and The Official MCC Story of the Ashes (2015). In recent years, Whimpress has also published a number of monographs on cricket.