The Cricketer in Winter

Is there anything in sport more melancholy than the English cricketer when the long winter begins? Jon Hotten - The Old Batsman himself - looks back on his efforts in the summer of 2014... After one of my worst seasons ever with the bat last year, I began 2014 by scoring ... Read More...

The sheer unlikeliness of CB Fry

'His party trick was to jump backwards onto a mantelpiece from a standing position'. Jon Hotten salutes the incomparable sporting Renaissance man, CB Fry... John Arlott called him 'the most variously gifted Englishman of any age,' and Arlott, conjuring his musty magic from an old typewriter set next a glass of ... Read More...

Ghost grounds

Jon Hotten on memory, dreams and cricket pitches... It's hard to write about a feeling as elusive as this one, yet it's that elusiveness that makes it both rare and worthwhile. It happened the other day, for the first time in a couple of years. I was driving through a town ... Read More...

Wasted Talent? An Elegy for Kevin Pietersen

The England Cricket Board recently terminated the career of its star player. The relationship was doomed from the start, says Jon Hotten... Last year a writer I liked very much died. Jonathan Rendall published three books, one of which, Twelve Grand, is among my favourites by any author. He was a ... Read More...

The Spinner’s Web

Amongst the most shocking moments of England's shocking Ashes series this winter was the sudden mid-tour retirement of Graeme Swann, one of the country's greatest ever spin bowlers. Here, Jon Hotten examines the mysteries of the spinner's art, and what Swanny leaves behind... Decades ago on a Saturday afternoon in winter ... Read More...

The end of the season

Cricket is a cruel game, and then you get too old to play it. So why do old cricketers keep going, despite it all? Jon Hotten explains... The end of the season is almost here, with its rain and with its retirements, with its shadows that fall longways across the ground ... Read More...

Chess, Cricket, and Man versus the Machines

Machines are already better than humans at chess, and now computers are increasingly important in sports like cricket and baseball. Author Jon Hotten ponders the implications... Writing about the 1986 world championship match between Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov, Martin Amis said of chess: '[They are playing] the foremost game of ... Read More...