Not The Spin [Issue 9]

Published: 2021
Pages: 48
Author: Brodkin, Stuart, Lomax, Ian, Cavanagh, Roy, Higham, Andy (Editors)
Publisher: Lancashire Action Group
Rating: 4 stars

Over the years some may have noticed a slight Lancastrian bias within the editorial policy here at www.cricketweb.net. We have to concede that there is an element of justification for that view, but the fact that we regularly review Not The Spin, the mouthpiece of the Lancashire Action Group, should not be taken as support for an allegation of bias. Not The Spin is, objectively, a splendid publication with a relevance to all cricket lovers, and were similar publications to emanate from elsewhere we would be only to pleased to review those as well.

As a reminder of the ethos behind Not The Spin I can refer readers to my look at the first six issues here, and subsequent reviews of Issue 7 and Issue 8. The first point to be made is that for Issue 9 the magazine has put on a little weight, now comprising 48 pages rather than 36. Despite that the price remains a modest £2 plus postage, and the magazine can be purchased via the Group’s website.

For Issue 9 the content split is more or less equal between articles which touch and concern what I will refer to as the politics of the situation, and essays which deal with purely cricketing matters. As to the politics the hope of all must be that we will eventually have a situation which allows the Lancashire Action Group to consider its work complete. Sadly that day still seems a long way off, and there has no been progress although, perhaps, I sense that maybe there will be some before too long.

There are a selection of writings on the running of the club, including Ian Lomax’s farewell to the outgoing Director of Cricket, Paul Allott, about whose character I learned a good deal that took me slightly by surprise. Personally I liked Allott a lot as a cricketer, and indeed as a presenter/commentator on Sky Sports, but if I end up forgiving some of the other ‘eccentricities’ he has demonstrated in his administrative duties his role in the departure from Old Trafford of Haseeb Hameed will always stick in my craw.

Ultimately I am confident that all who can look at the issues between club and Action Group in a truly dispassionate way will, if they come to no other conclusion, wonder why the county seem so set against utilising the help of a group of people who are so clearly motivated by a deep love for Lancashire cricket and a desire to improve it.

And the cricket content? Where else could that begin other than with a celebration of Jimmy Anderson’s thousandth First Class wicket. It was fitting that the ‘Burnley Express’, so rarely available for the county in recent years, should do so whilst wearing the Red Rose, and quite remarkable that the achievement came in the context of a career best performance.

Other players who are looked at are two of the current crop who are earmarked for great things, Liam Livingstone and Matt Parkinson, who Mark Gretton writes about. From the past Paul Fitzpatrick selects Johnny Briggs, Roy Tattersall and Eddie Paynter for his piece, Three Lancashire Greats.

Nostalgia finds its way into Not The Spin 9 with a long look back to the famous Gillette Cup semi-final against Gloucestershire when David Hughes, in the gathering gloom, took 24 runs from a single over to carry his side to the brink of victory. It is a sobering thought that that performance was 50 years ago. Rather more recent, but still a time ago, is the end of the 77 years of hurt and the 2011 Championship success, celebrated with an enjoyable look at what has become of the successful squad a decade on.

Not The Spin 9 concludes with a return to the present day, with Stuart Brodkin looking at the return of the county game generally in the light of the manner in which Covid restrictions have eased in recent weeks, and Roy Cavanagh rounds things off by examining the fortunes of the Red Rose so far this summer. Once again I will express the view that, all factors considered, Not The Spin 9 is five star stuff for Lancastrians, but well worth a read for everyone else as well,


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