Not The Spin (Issue 11)Martin Chandler |
Author: Davis, Rory (Editor)
Rating: 4 stars
It has been around a year since Issue 10 of Not The Spin appeared, and I have to confess to having begun to wonder if the voice of the Lancashire Action Group had given up on the use of the printed word as a means of communicating its concerns about the way in which Lancashire County Cricket Club conducts its affairs.
Which just goes the show that Facebook, something I largely gave up on when it ceased to be the only way of communicating with my children, does have other uses. I noticed some time ago that the Lancashire Action Group website had ceased to exist, but if I had bothered to visit the Group’s Facebook page I would have been aware of what has been happening.
The good news is that the Group still exists, and indeed appears in many ways to be thriving. The change is that the man who I have always regarded as the driving force behind the Group and indeed the fanzine itself, Ian Lomax, has decided that after several years and ten previous issues he no longer has as much time available to devote to Not The Spin as in the past. So I should therefore begin with an expression of thanks to Ian for the effort he has put in over the years.
So what now? I won’t claim to be absolutely certain of the position but, as far as I can work out, Not The Spin is no longer produced by the Group as before, and is now an independent publication that will appear three times a year under the editorship of Rory Davis. There is also clearly a stronger connection than before between the Group and the nationwide County Cricket Members’ Group, but that much noted Davis is a lifelong Lancashire supporter so the Red Rosecentric approach of Not The Spin has been preserved.
And there are some familiar themes covered in Not The Spin 11. Roy Cavanagh presents a pen portrait of inter war all-rounder Len Hopwood, and there are obituaries of Sonny Ramadhin, Ian Cockbain and writer John Gwynne. On the subject of current Lancashire cricket there is of course a look at a season that saw Lancashire finish second in all three competitions, and a tribute to the now veteran Steven Croft, 38 now but not, hopefully, with any intention of retiring any time soon.
Not The Spin has always been critical of the way the county is run, often pointedly so. That continues, and the wider condemnation of what is seen by most as traditional county cricket being marginalised is ramped up. In may ways there is a harder edge to the new Not The Spin, reflecting the continued neglect by those that run cricket of the core values of both the LAG and CCMG, and the issues that face the future of English cricket.
There are a number of telling points made, some in detail and others in short order, but the main benefit I derived from reading Not The Spin 11 was to at last understand the concerns of those who so fear the approach of the venture capitalists. The piece by ‘Broughton Parker’ on the tragedy that has befallen Rugby Union is a real eye opener.
Not The Spin 11 is an important publication for all who value the county game, and not just Lancashire supporters, although I would have to concede that there is a good deal of material that will be of less interest to those who follow the other seventeen First Class counties. Nonetheless at just £3* for one issue, or £9* for three it comes in at little more than the price of a decent coffee, so should be supported by all who value the county game.