The Long Room


Two thousand Tests, I've watched them all
Two thousand Tests, I've watched them all

Test matches burn bright in the memory whether you watched them or not

The sport that makes the clocks melt
The sport that makes the clocks melt

In Test cricket, like in no other game, time is a protagonist. An instant can be an aeon, hours can go by in a heartbeat

A spinner's flight plan
A spinner's flight plan

The great spinners visualised their wickets and deceived the batsmen in the air. But why are today's bowling coaches almost always fast men?

Whites are right
Whites are right

They're evocative, they're old-timey, they're among cricket's few constants in an age of change

Too drained to care
Too drained to care

You don't support your side through a World Cup win and then forget all about it inside a week to cheer them as they turn out for different teams in a Twenty20 league

It happened in '85
It happened in '85

As the 2011 season gets underway, a county cricket watcher recalls his first year travelling the Sunday League grounds of 1980s Britain with a press pass-wielding father

India or Sri Lanka: whom to support?
India or Sri Lanka: whom to support?

Which team does a second-generation British Asian fan cheer for? It's not all that straightforward

India v Pakistan: a fantasy
India v Pakistan: a fantasy

Will the two sides meet in this World Cup? One can but live in hope

Hooked on torment
Hooked on torment

What are you if you switch the TV on at three in the morning knowing full well your team will probably get a pasting?

Tout suite
Tout suite

You can't miss them if you're going to an Ashes Test in England: the bald, scarred, toothless gents who're dying to get you into the ground

Where did opinion go?
Where did opinion go?

All too few men stand between us and the mind-numbing drivel that commentators and players spew these days

Ears glued to the cricket
Ears glued to the cricket

In the years following India's independence, many fans' link to the game was the radio, usually owned by the English-speaking, all-knowing man of the town

It happened at the G
It happened at the G

Living 40 minutes away from the MCG is something you can come to take for granted, a homesick Victorian realises

Eden on an impulse
Eden on an impulse

India v Pakistan in Kolkata, Laxman and Ganguly at the crease. Fly into town for the day?

Thank you, uncles
Thank you, uncles

There's nothing quite like watching cricket with grumpy old men for company

When trickery was afoot
When trickery was afoot

On two spinners who made the special art of deception their own, and gave the game a gripping narrative in the process

Old school tie
Old school tie

On meeting a childhood hero - and letting him down

The loss of cricket's cadence
The loss of cricket's cadence

Cricket has outdone other sports in commercialisation, at the cost of the viewing experience - but perhaps that's no more than we deserve

Mr Backyard Cricket
Mr Backyard Cricket

A hunk of wood for a bat, stones for balls, his father's awkward action to face: Michael Hussey's initiation to cricket wasn't exactly indicative of what was to come

A Lahore landing
A Lahore landing

In 2004 Pakistan unrolled the red carpet for India. A look at the team's arrival in Lahore