Managing editor Matt Thacker introduces the Winter 2020 issue…
And so it goes on. I’m writing this exactly halfway through another lockdown. Although maybe we’re only a third of the way through, or a quarter… who knows? Another stretch of time to endure, another month or more of devising ways to fill the days. Of counting our blessings, taking our medicine, watching our box-sets, praying for loved ones and vaccines.
At least for the past month or so we have been distracted by not just the utter absurdity of the US election, but also by the glorious lunacy of the Indian Premier League. And what a godsend it has been. Whatever you think of the format, to see exceptional players doing exceptional things for an entire afternoon every weekday, and twice of a weekend, has certainly helped keep the demons at bay.
And we hope, Royal Mail willing, that the delivery of this, the 32nd edition of the Nightwatchman, will enable you to find another tiny retreat from the world’s mounting problems for a few precious hours.
This issue is as full of surprises as ever. It is topped and tailed by a moving letter to a two-year-old and a heartfelt appreciation of a 103-year-old. In the former, New Zealander Justin Paul – who reckons himself to have been one of the world’s worst first-class cricketers – is equivocal in his advice as he cautiously introduces his young son to the game, while in the latter Daniel Rey salutes his grandfather, a war hero who passed his love of cricket down the generations.
We have a section devoted to Geoffrey Boycott, one of cricket’s most divisive figures, who turned 80 this year. We asked three writers to give their views of Boycott and we have also raided the photo archives to illustrate his career.
Elsewhere, Jarrod Kimber broaches match-fixing, Sharda Ugra finds she has a grudging respect for the IPL, and Isabelle Duncan revisits MCC’s relationship – or lack thereof – with women. Other topics include the joys of scoring and Derbyshire’s old PA system, while two of our contributors look at the often fragile relationship between England and West Indies. And, as every good book should, we feature a piece on those Australians who managed to combine top-level cricket and dentistry. I’ll leave it there.
As ever, if you would like to write for us or just let us know what you think about the Nightwatchman, good or bad, please get in touch 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.