A Swansea University lecturer’s latest book was not only a labour of love but also a chance to pay tribute to the man who inspired his passion for the game of cricket.
Cricketing Lives: A Characterful History from Pitch to Page by Dr Richard Thomas is published next month and looks back at some of the sport’s most remarkable players and the stories that surround them.
Dr Thomas, associate professor of media and communication in the College of Arts and Humanities, was introduced to the sport by his late father Richard Howard Thomas, who captained of the University cricket team during the 1950s.
He said: “My father was the one who inspired me to love the game so much, and we spent lots of our time together watching it and talking about it.”
Dedicating his book to his father who died last year, Dr Thomas said: “He told me about cricket, encouraged me to love it and showed endless patience in trying to make me better at playing it. Useless as I was, he never stopped supporting me and cheering me on.”
Dr Thomas added: “A big motivation for me to finish the book in draft form was so he could read it before he died and he was able to give me his insightful and constructive feedback.”
The finished work, with foreword by Daniel Norcross of BBC Test Match Special, is described by Wisden Cricket Monthly as the kind of book “you’d love to settle down with – a warm and generous history that glows with love as well as learning”. It also praises Dr Thomas’s knack for finding “the quote you’ve never read, the reference that sends you scuttling towards unfamiliar books”.
Humorous and deeply affectionate, Cricketing Lives tells the story of the game through those who have shaped it. It’s about W G Grace and his eye to his wallet; the invincible Viv Richards, the legendary Glamorgan captain and polymath Wilf Wooller; and Sarah Taylor, dubbed the best wicketkeeper in the world – male or female – who also happens to have been his father’s favourite ever player.
An expert in political communication, alt-media and the coverage of elections, Dr Thomas is a member of Swansea University’s Politics, Analysis and Governance research group. He is also editor of the Swansea Mumbler, an online showcase of activities within the Media and Communications department, where he has shared his father’s recollections of his time at Swansea University.
Cricketing Lives: A Characterful History from Pitch to Page by Dr Richard Thomas is published by Reaktion Books on May 17 and costs £20
(Lead image: Swansea University / Dr Richard Thomas)
Welsh Government calls on more people to host Ukrainians in their homes
Council describes 10 year-old Leon as ‘Environment Hero’ for Whitland litter picks
How one woman’s tragic loss helped save a child given just hours to live
Children’s hospice say they’re determined to keep doors open despite energy crisis
Council announces nearly 90 projects to tackle post-pandemic cost of living crisis
Free ‘Grow How’ session to help gardeners make the most of autumn gardening
Llanelli Half Marathon: Running on a high
Strictly Come Dancing: Ellie Simmonds talks first dances, fake tan and facing off for Glitterball glory
Cleaner water linked with smaller cockles that die younger, research on Burry Inlet reveals
West Wales women up for awards in leading Welsh ceremony
Bus drivers set to walk out in First Cymru pay dispute
From stamps and coins to passports and police helmets: What will change following the death of the Queen
Gorseinon pub overlooking rugby and cricket club could become flats
Smoke seen for miles as former Cinderella nightclub on Mumbles Pier catches fire
Council suspends non-essential services on September 19
Pembrokeshire crowds ready to welcome 10th IRONMAN Wales
Plans for apartments on former Neath Workingmen’s Club site
Tributes paid to HM Queen Elizabeth II as communities prepare mourning arrangements
Transport strikes postponed following Monarch’s death
28 year-old Port Talbot stroke survivor takes on mountain climb after learning to walk again
Bridgend5 days ago
Bus strikes back on after Queen’s funeral postponement
Bridgend4 days ago
Bus strike cancelled after First Cymru and unions come to agreement
Motoring7 days ago
Coastguard release dramatic pictures of car after it falls off cliff at Mumbles car park
Llanelli6 days ago
Everything you need to know ahead of the M&D Care Llanelli Half Marathon
South Wales Police6 days ago
Police want to speak with this man after assault in Uplands
Cardiff Airport7 days ago
Cardiff Airport restarts Italian flights and gets new direct Romanian destination
Business7 days ago
TUI Invests in team with help of Gower College Swansea
Environment5 days ago
Trecco Bay Holiday Park takes part in Great British Beach Clean