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Thread: Children's Cricket Stories

  1. #1
    Cricket Web Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    Children's Cricket Stories

    I'm not entirely sure why my brain decided to wander down this particular train of thought last night, but wander it did:

    I'm sure any English children of the 1990s remember reading Rob Childs and Michael Hardcastle books about sports, generally football. I know I got through a lot at primary school. It occurred to me that very very few books were ever about cricket.

    Granted, that's because cricket was in the Atherton era which appealed to the sum total of about six primary school kids in 1993, but now it's not. To me, it's clearly a hole in the market and surely exploitable. I reckon that if Hardcastle and Childs can write 150 books that appeal to primary school kids, then we can write one about cricket.

    If we can knock together a few thousand words (how long are these things generally when you add an inch margin and size 14 fonts so that nine year olds don't get scared - Jamee, you must have some lying around?) by the middle of March (or earlier), I'm doing a couple of weeks' teaching practice in a year five class (ten year olds) and I'll see what sort of responses I get to the er, finished manuscript.

    So, we need some characters, a setting and a plot. Clearly Lewis Mitchell will be involved as I've already developed the character reasonably well in CW-Land. That just leaves us another thirteen or so to form a squad, a few chapters introducing them and their club/school (which?), their coach and a plot line.

    Fire ideas in the thread and I'll start knocking some prose together over the Christmas holidays (the joys of being a student on a slackers' degree, four weeks off and next to no work to do. I've already two-thirds completed Railroad Tycoon II...)
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  2. #2
    International Coach Barney Rubble's Avatar
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    Interesting idea. I do remember ready some kids' books about cricket myself, actually - all I remember about them is that the captain of the team involved was called Harry Knight, nicknamed "Hawk" because his initials were HAW Knight, and they had a player whose nickname was Ohbert, because he was rubbish and used to get sent to the far corners of the boundary to field, and respond with "Oh, but....." and then tail off as he walked away. That was all he ever said. They also had a token girl in the team, whose name I can't remember, and I'm pretty sure they had a token Indian and a token West Indian kid in there, too, but I'm not sure.

    The books were pretty good, and they provided me with a lot of the early knowledge I gained about the game - they had diagrams of the names of fielding positions at the back, and things like that.

    From what I can remember, most of the characters were fairly loosely based on real players - or at least stereotypes of players that have always existed. There was the dynamic, inspirational captain, all-rounder and all-round good egg, there was the rubbish guy who ends up being a hero, there was the talented but unpopular batsman from an "exotic" country (I think they might have even made him Spanish in these books - the name Da Silva is ringing a bell ), there was the big, angry fast bowler, there was the token Indian spinner, the token West Indian who batted like Sobers and bowled like Marshall.....ah yes, it's all coming back to me now.

    I think the concept works well if kids can make parallels with current players - chucking in a few similarities with Fred/Vaughan/Harmy/Pietersen might not go amiss.

  3. #3
    Hall of Fame Member Jamee999's Avatar
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    I like the idea,

    Can't find any books of type at the moment, but I'm pretty sure I have some lying about, will have a better look later.

    Just an idea, maybe everyone could throw in a character?

    If we write a paragraph or two on them, maybe one about them, one about their cricket?

    I'm interested and intrigued though.
    Or something.

    RIP Fardin Qayyumi (AKA "cricket player"; "Bob"), 1/11/1990 - 15/4/2006

  4. #4
    International Vice-Captain open365's Avatar
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    what kind of side is it going to be?school?club?regional?

    sounds like a fun idea,can't wait to see how it ends up.


  5. #5
    Hall of Fame Member superkingdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barney Rubble
    Interesting idea. I do remember ready some kids' books about cricket myself, actually - all I remember about them is that the captain of the team involved was called Harry Knight, nicknamed "Hawk" because his initials were HAW Knight, and they had a player whose nickname was Ohbert, because he was rubbish and used to get sent to the far corners of the boundary to field, and respond with "Oh, but....." and then tail off as he walked away. That was all he ever said. They also had a token girl in the team, whose name I can't remember, and I'm pretty sure they had a token Indian and a token West Indian kid in there, too, but I'm not sure.

    The books were pretty good, and they provided me with a lot of the early knowledge I gained about the game - they had diagrams of the names of fielding positions at the back, and things like that.

    From what I can remember, most of the characters were fairly loosely based on real players - or at least stereotypes of players that have always existed. There was the dynamic, inspirational captain, all-rounder and all-round good egg, there was the rubbish guy who ends up being a hero, there was the talented but unpopular batsman from an "exotic" country (I think they might have even made him Spanish in these books - the name Da Silva is ringing a bell ), there was the big, angry fast bowler, there was the token Indian spinner, the token West Indian who batted like Sobers and bowled like Marshall.....ah yes, it's all coming back to me now.

    I think the concept works well if kids can make parallels with current players - chucking in a few similarities with Fred/Vaughan/Harmy/Pietersen might not go amiss.
    remember those books

    also Neil - Harcastle did one about cricket called 'caught out' which i have somewhere, and there was another one aswell

  6. #6
    Hall of Fame Member superkingdave's Avatar
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    btw the one Barney was talking about is 'Glory Gardens' they had scorecards at the end of the chapters and such - one of the best ones was where one of the teams they played against had a dodgy umpire. The captain was called 'Hooker'. Bob Cattell wrote them.

  7. #7
    Cricket Web Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superkingdave
    btw the one Barney was talking about is 'Glory Gardens' they had scorecards at the end of the chapters and such - one of the best ones was where one of the teams they played against had a dodgy umpire. The captain was called 'Hooker'. Bob Cattell wrote them.
    A quick google has revealed www.glorygardens.com and some of the most incredible plotlines this side of Edgbaston. The Under 13 Ashes... come on Bob, I'm believing Harry Potter before I buy that. Liking the terminology type stuff, though. Quite fancy having a coach character to do the technical explaining of things.

    Jamee's got his heart set on there being fights in it too.

  8. #8
    International Vice-Captain
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    I remember Hurricane Hamish - Calypso Cricketer as well, but it involves a 12-year old playing for the West Indies.

  9. #9
    International Vice-Captain Jungle Jumbo's Avatar
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    The Glory Gardens books were amazing, they probably were the key factor to getting me hooked on cricket. I actually met Bob Cattell (the author) at some sort of meeting and me and some other boys were asked to give ideas for his last two books.

    Seriously, even if your an adult wanting to find out about cricket, they're probably the best way to understand the game - they are written for children

  10. #10
    State Captain Chubb's Avatar
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    That's quite a good idea. Try and make the villains some evil private school, Harton or Kingsfield (see what I did there... clever, eh?) , and the chief villain their snobbish, rich captain, whose father buys in Aussie ringers. Elements of class struggle always work pretty well.
    Last edited by Chubb; 14-12-2005 at 12:57 PM.

  11. #11
    State Vice-Captain Armadillo's Avatar
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    I remember a book called magnificent 11 that was written by that guy who wrote Roy of the Rovers, I was 9 at the time and I thought it was great. Also you might ask Halsey for some childrens books, seems to be within his range.
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  12. #12
    U19 Cricketer Hazza's Avatar
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    Yeah I've read the Ohbert's Ashes in the Glory Gardens series- very good

  13. #13
    Cricket Web Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    I'm not entirely sure why, but me, Jamee and Barney have spent the last two hours (plus) deciding what the squad of players is going to be and we've now got a list of 14 names. I dunno how JK Rowling names an entire school... Now for personalities...

  14. #14
    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    Chippy Canadian communist of Indian extraction who blames the evils of the western world when he gets an iffy LBW decision?

    Character is entirely fictional. Any similarity, blah, blah....
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  15. #15
    State Captain Chubb's Avatar
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    Exiled Zimbabwean (white or black) hard-hitting left-handed opening batsman in the mould of Chris Gayle and nagging offspinner a la Prosper Utseya. Loathes South Africans and ZANU, dreams of returning to play for his country?

    Rubbish kid who comes from a long line of extremely good cricketers, uncle played for Somerset, Grandfather for England, feels pressured by his family, actually quite useful but plagued by confidence problems?
    Last edited by Chubb; 14-12-2005 at 02:19 PM.

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