Matt Thacker introduces the latest issue of The Nightwatchman.
Welcome to this issue of the Nightwatchman as we reach our quarter century mark, with perhaps a gentle ripple of applause. It might be statistically irrelevant when measured up against the Wisden Almanack, which is about to bring out its 156th edition, but although we’ve given them a decent head start, we reckon if we keep going we’ll catch them when we reach 200 together, in spring 2063…
But that’s a fair way ahead. In the here and now, we’re about to embark on what every sports fan loves, a MASSIVE year of elite action. If you are English that is. By this time next year, there will have been a World Cup on home soil, another Ashes series, and tours of both New Zealand and South Africa. Mouthwatering indeed.
In this 25th issue we feature the usual wide range of topics, spanning both the globe and the generations. We travel from a burning pavilion in the Welsh valleys, on to Dublin in the 1920s where there is a burning sense of injustice, through to Tilbury Docks where the Windrush docked in 1948, and alighting in India, at the birth of the IPL.
As ever, cricket is just the jumping off point for our writers to strike out in whichever direction they choose. Among the topics tickling their fancy this time round are the similarities between cricket and jazz, a controversial writer’s love of the game, why Liverpool does not produce many cricketers, and the charming and inspirational story of Stan Spiegel, a tale that so many who play on year after year, decade after decade, will find familiar. And there is plenty more to get stuck into.
My co-editor Tanya Aldred put out a message on social media recently to attract new writers to the Nightwatchman. The response was overwhelming and gratifying. It seems in a world where consumption habits are changing more rapidly than ever, there are still plenty of people who want to sit down and write something really worthwhile. Expect to read some of those new voices in forthcoming issues.
And meanwhile, if you too would like to write for us or just let us know what you think about the Nightwatchman, good or bad, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. We read every submission (but promise nothing) that fulfils our criteria: that articles should touch on cricket (however tangentially) and are original, well written and thought-provoking.
Matt Thacker, March 2019
Issue 25 of The Nightwatchman is out now and available to buy here.