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 Age of Innocence: Football in the 1970s

Brit reviews 'The Age of Innocence - Football in the 1970s' a stunning new photographic book published by TASCHEN... Golden Age-ism ­‑­ the idea that in a particular era the stars shone brighter, the greats were greater and the men were real men instead of spoilt prima donnas or professional drones ... 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...

The Edwardian Football Hooligans

Football fan violence was far from an invention of the 1980s... It’s one of the most extraordinary and tantalizing facts of our time. Take out all the estimated-to-be-drug-related activity out of the crime figures, and what you are left with are the gentle, pacific, Marpleian levels of fair-cop crime enjoyed in ... Read More...

Suzanne Lenglen: Tennis As She Was Played

With Wimbledon getting underway once more, Nige takes a look back at one of tennis's greatest stars... The glamorous, exuberant French tennis player Suzanne Lenglen died in 1938, aged just 39. She died of pernicious anaemia, having been diagnosed with leukaemia, and lost her sight shortly before her death - the ... Read More...