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Thread: Dan's Shameless Thread of Self-Promotion

  1. #1
    Dan
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    Dan's Shameless Thread of Self-Promotion

    As some of you (namely, those who follow me on any form of social media) may be aware, when I'm not spending my spare time typing away aimlessly about cricket on here, I'm often typing away aimlessly about cricket elsewhere in a slightly more formal manner. Yep, I'm one of those annoying dudes who reckons he can turn an adolescence filled with forum posting procrastination into something vaguely resembling amateur journalism (and, one day, potentially a career in it with slightly higher pay).

    A couple of weeks ago I conducted my first interview. Yesterday I published the resulting piece. I'd really appreciate if you would check it out. I admit it is long, but I felt like trying to shorten it would cheapen the story somewhat.


    A Tale of Two Careers: The Lee Carseldine Story

    It is April 2011, in the shadow of another sun-soaked summer of cricket. But change is in the air. The Big Bash League, Cricket Australia’s attempt to revitalise the domestic cricketing landscape, is still heavily conceptual. It is, in theory at least, a clean break from Australia’s traditional state-based structure, eschewing the representative pyramid for a franchise structure heavily influenced by the consumerist juggernaut that is the Indian Premier League.

    While the end-result was a huge hit with crowds, a breath of fresh air into domestic cricket, and an opportunity for domestic players to make a better living than ever before, in April such success was hardly a guarantee. The BBL involved a shift to city-based franchises, the splintering of the New South Wales and Victorian markets, and, arguably most dramatically, a ban on the new teams from using their state colours. These were radical changes, unheard of in Australian cricket. Nobody knew how the public would react, and every BBL team wanted to draw in as many fans as possible.

    This sparked an identity crisis, with each club pulling in their own directions. Adelaide channelled American baseball culture with the Strikers. The Sydney Sixers were intentionally ostentatious, dressed in hot pink (sorry, magenta) and arriving at the BBL launch, held at Redfern’s craft-beer-and-beard hipster contemporary art gallery, Carriageworks, in a hot pink Hummer blaring Lady Gaga. The Melbourne Stars went corporate glamour, the team quickly becoming a cult of McGuire and Warne, while James Brayshaw turned his Melbourne Renegades into a bastion of old-school masculinity. The Sydney Thunder took the ‘Western Sydney Battler’ trope a little bit too literally, the Perth Scorchers emphasised hashtag-ability, and the Hobart Hurricanes opted for purple. All of this rested within the BBL’s own aesthetic, a pastiche of sharp, neon colours and early-90s grunge earthiness reminiscent of Gibson’s Neuromancer.

    And then there was Brisbane.

    Enter Lee Carseldine, a man of two eras. Debuting in 1998-99 during what could easily be described as a golden era of Queensland (as well as Australian) cricket, he was the star of the Bulls’ previous T20 campaign. Who better to launch the new Brisbane franchise’s identity than Carseldine? The Heat’s marketing manager agreed; Carseldine was to be the man launching the new team colours. “I got stitched up by the marketing team,” he recalled, “To this day I still put **** on the Marketing and Media Manager. I’ve known him for 20-odd years and he still owes me.”


    The Marketing and Media Manager’s brilliant plan? Carseldine, dressed exclusively in budgie smugglers, covered in teal body paint.
    For the rest of the article, click here (I'm sorry for the cynical page-view grab, but the entire article going in here would be a pain for people scrolling and does nothing to help formatting).

    Obligatory follow us on Twitter and/or like us on Facebook if you feel like it etc etc. Links on the page.



    Feedback is always appreciated. Constructive preferred, but if swear-y denigration is more your style I'll take that too.
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  2. #2
    Request Your Custom Title Now! Spikey's Avatar
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    Looked at the rules and I'm gonna have to make a ruling here.

    No advertising - Threads/posts blatantly advertising your website are not allowed and shall be removed. Continued abuse of this rule will result in the account being banned. If you wish to advertise on Cricket Web, email advertising@cricketweb.net
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    Will say this once and then nothing else. Defamation laws quite clear in Aus.be careful.

  3. #3
    Global Moderator vic_orthdox's Avatar
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    It was a good read, but seeing as you asked for feedback...

    Found myself skipping parts of it, particularly between his quotes; it felt like a retirement/tribute piece combined with an interview. You got some really good quotes out of him, feel like they could tell the story and your attempts at putting them in context needn't be paragraphs long.

    If you are writing for a cricket audience, they already know a lot of the background (BBL stuff at the start especially), if not then they aren't all that interested to read three long paragraphs before you get to the subject.

    Cliffs; more Lee, less you.
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  4. #4
    Dan
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    Quote Originally Posted by vic_orthdox View Post
    It was a good read, but seeing as you asked for feedback...

    Found myself skipping parts of it, particularly between his quotes; it felt like a retirement/tribute piece combined with an interview. You got some really good quotes out of him, feel like they could tell the story and your attempts at putting them in context needn't be paragraphs long.

    If you are writing for a cricket audience, they already know a lot of the background (BBL stuff at the start especially), if not then they aren't all that interested to read three long paragraphs before you get to the subject.

    Cliffs; more Lee, less you.

    Yeah I can certainly understand where you're getting that from. Assuming I can secure myself some more interviews here and there, I'll try to experiment around with some different styles to see if I can get something to work better.

    Cheers for that, really appreciate it.


  5. #5
    Dan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spikey View Post
    Looked at the rules and I'm gonna have to make a ruling here.



    You also fell foul of
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    If I were enclosed in a lemon, my mouth cavity would be the last thing on fire.

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    Cricketer Of The Year wellAlbidarned's Avatar
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    get a job

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    U19 Debutant Camo999's Avatar
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    Enjoyable read thanks mate. Can't wait for you to interview Scott Kremerskothen.
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    Nice piece Dan

  10. #10
    Dan
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    I've finally got the write-up done, so it's time to bump this thread (and incur the wrath of spikey once more).

    Here's the first part of my interview with Nick Compton. Mostly covers his time at Middlesex and Somerset, leading up to his Test debut.

    In no uncertain terms, the move to Somerset changed Nick Compton’s life. In 2009, he was a county player with a famous surname, a handy top-order batsman who had found his level. By 2012, he was in the form of his life, almost breaking that mythical barrier of 1000 First Class runs by the end of May. Robbed by the English weather with May 31st washed out, he brought it up the following day.

    So what sparked this turnaround? Was the move to Somerset the defining factor in his career, or did the move just coincide with Compton learning his game and understanding how he wanted to, and ought to, play the game? The man himself is unequivocal; the changes to his performance ran far deeper than a patch of good form:

    “I needed to challenge myself and find out about myself in my own right, rather than having the Compton name at Lord’s and all the history at Middlesex. I wanted to give it a go and I wanted to play a better level of cricket, and that’s exactly what it was…the step up was incredible. The professionalism of Somerset was quite incredible. I realised pretty soon that I had to step up and get my game together.

    “The move helped me massively. One, I think the role definition that Somerset gave me was very, very clear….Somerset is a quiet place, not a huge amount going on…the training was tougher, the players were tougher and the results and expectations were very high.

    “I think for me, that whole mentality really helped me. Trescothick was an exceptional player at the time and we had a lot of stroke-players. I realised that I couldn’t really compete with that, and I felt a bit of initial pressure to try to show the team how good I was, and it was taking me away from what it is I do well…so I almost thought to myself ‘screw this, I’m going to get in this team, and I’m going to fight, and I’m going to bat all day.

    “I kept that in mind, and over time the more consistency I got, and slowly I started to form my own identity, in terms of being the rock, being the support….I scored more and more runs by staying at the crease. I acknowledge it wasn’t so much about scoring runs, it was a case of ‘I want to be out here’, and if I’m at the crease then the team will succeed…and that’s effectively how I started to build up my own identity and my consistency, and my way of playing — the mentality and technique that goes with it. And that really was a massive help to me to stay in the team.

    “I think also, being in Somerset without any family around, my focus was entirely on my cricket, I had to make it…that made me mentally tougher, it made me value every innings. It made me learn how to focus really hard, and also I wanted to go home knowing I had some runs because it was a pretty lonely place knowing I didn’t have any help.”

    Compton had isolated himself from every possible distraction. The Compton name, the business of city life in London, the history of Lord’s. For many, this single-minded focus would be destructive, living and breathing cricket proving terminal to their careers. But not Nick Compton; he thrived on the pressure and was hungry for runs. He would let nothing stop him from achieving his goals. Somerset let him break away and forge his own path, an option never previously offered to him. Simultaneously, the expectations placed on him were clear — his job was to score industrial quantities of runs. And it paid dividends, as his hugely consistent runscoring forced him into England contention.

    “[Playing for England] was everything I dreamed about. Scoring those runs, having the attention on you, it gave me a buzz and a reason to wake up in the morning. I mean, yeah, there was a bit more anxiety, but it was more an excitement anxiety, like there was a momentum with me as I went out to bat and I just kept scoring runs. I kept finding a way of scoring runs and it built up and built up. There was the 1000 runs before the end of [May] and I wanted that so badly. The more runs I got, the more hungry I got, the more determined I got, the more ambitious I got, and it kind of breeds itself. I put a lot of that success down to determination, fight, hunger and that willingness to succeed.

    “The more runs I got, the more hype I got, and the more I wanted it.”


    And soon enough, Nick Compton would get it.
    The Rise and Fall of Nick Compton: Becoming an Underdog (Part 1) | Mind The Windows!
    Last edited by Dan; 18-08-2015 at 10:36 PM.
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  11. #11
    Dan
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    ...and Part Two :

    Certainly the exaggerated, inflammatory comments of Vaughan were not helpful to Compton’s cause. That, however, was not going to keep him down. In the midst of Vaughan’s social media pressure, Compton grafted his way to a maiden Test match century.
    “In the First Test [in New Zealand], I got a duck in the first innings, my dad had flown over to watch me and I was decidedly unhappy.

    “The Joe Root stuff was still going on like no tomorrow, Michael Vaughan was...saying ridiculous things and that didn’t really help. I knew my second innings in that Test match was a pretty defining one, and I had root canal surgery the night before!

    “I felt quite relaxed, from ball one I hit the ball down the ground and got two, straight off the mark to get off the pair which is always a nice feeling, and it all came back. The rhythm came back, leaving the ball outside the off stump, my balance, and I just kept fighting. And to back it up with a more fluent innings in the Second Test was great.”

    Within the locus of England’s top three, Compton’s mentality was simultaneously a gift and a curse. With Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott similarly-inclined, grinding bowlers into the dust and setting platforms for a more expansive middle order, a key criticism of the English team was a lack of dynamism in the top order — dynamism that Joe Root could potentially provide. And with neither Cook nor Trott in peak form throughout 2012, pressure would always remain on their counterpart in the top order; settling into the team could not afford to be a lengthy process. As we’ve seen in many a losing team, the last in is often the first out, the casualty of underperformance from players with credit in the bank.

    This was not the case with Compton. He was not the first of England’s merry-go-round at the top of the order; the cycle began after he was dropped, not before.

    “I felt like I was always playing for my place, but I felt it was always a case of those being the cards I was dealt as an older guy coming into the team.

    “I was a little surprised that after back-to-back centuries there wasn’t more of a ‘quietening’ of sorts. I think [the ECB] left it open, which I guess was difficult to take. Joe Root got a nice hundred at number five at Headingley, but number five is very different to opening and he was a young guy, and to be honest, it just didn’t make any sense to me.

    “My thoughts were proved right in the end — it wasn’t the right move and they had no reason to change — if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. We still won the series comfortably, and I felt I did my job with Alastair Cook in that series despite not playing well…not making any excuses for my performances, but I was going through a bit of a tough time [with injury] at that stage and Andy Flower was aware of it, but I don’t think they really took that into consideration.”
    The Rise and Fall of Nick Compton: A Door Slammed Shut (Part 2) | Mind The Windows!
    Last edited by Dan; 21-08-2015 at 05:17 PM.
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