Mark Nicholas, etc.

8 02 2012

I’m finally reading Michael Atherton’s book and wanted to share this bit he wrote on Mark Nicholas, his captain on a 1990 England A tour to Zimbawe and Kenya:

“Mark was a thoughtful and enthusiastic captain and very good company although he tended towards hyperbole. On seeing a cheetah with a fresh kill in a Nairobi game park, he was heard to proclaim that it was ‘the greatest day of my life!’ He repeated the claim twice more before the trip was through – on seeing the Victoria Falls and on meeting Robert Mugabe.”

I’m imagining a dark-haired Bradley Cooper cuddling a jungle cat. Anyway, here’s a random quote from an old thread on PakPassion on Nicholas’ commentary:

Richie Benaud (before senility crept in):
‘Good shot for 3’

Same shot (Mark Nicholas):
‘My word. My word. My word! (in fast tempo). Awwwww Awwwww Awwww. Have you ever seen anything like it? Thats the shot. That the spot. And thats the lot.’ blah blah blah

Btw, Atherton’s honesty, wit and crisp writing makes the book a must-read, but unless you haven’t heard his commentary or read his columns, you knew that already. Also, his struggle with a hereditary condition that causes inflammation in the joints reminded me of all the heartache Shoaib Akhtar’s hypermobile joints brought to him and his fans – everything from playing through pain, not being able to get out of bed, injections of painkillers before a match, even a board that didn’t offer any financial help for his treatment. It’s also interesting that so many people born with abnormal, painful conditions end up going on to become professional sportsmen.

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One response

21 07 2012
Hashim Malik

Indeed. Athers is an incisive cricketing brain and will get the likes of freddie bawls for maintaining his rationality. I read his biography in patches, indeed a good honest about the state of english cricket back then and the burden of a lost-ashes generation…

on abnormality of physique/environment, one Palwankar Baloo comes to mind, a classy spinner from the dilit cast, who was, though played in Bombay Pentengalur, at the turn of the 20th century but was forced to sit outside the dressing room and could only eat in wooden crockery, separated from the rest…

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