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Cricketing Lives From Rhiwbina to India

A new cricket book by Rhiwbina author Richard H. Thomas has won praise from critics and enthusiasts around the world.

Rhiwbina author Richard H Thomas

With humour and affection, Cricketing Lives tells the story of “the world’s greatest and most incomprehensible game through those who have shaped it, from the rustic contests of 18th-century England to the spectacle of the Indian Premier League”.

And Richard explained it all started in Rhiwbina:

“I suppose all my memories of cricket have Rhiwbina in there somewhere,” he told us. “I’ve lived here on and off for well over 50 years.

‘Cricketing Lives’

“My first cricketing memory is batting against my Dad in the back garden of our house in Heol Uchaf. We lived there until I was 15, and as both my brother and I got older and outgrew the garden, we used to wait for him to come home from his job every evening in the summer, and after tea, the three of us would go down to the park opposite the shops on Heol Llanishen Fach.

“My brother Andy became an accomplished cricketer and played the game at a high level, and while I did play for the school team at Llanishen Fach Primary, I think I was picked for being enthusiastic more than any else! In two years my highest score was 12 and I walked off that day feeling like I’d scored 200 at Lord’s.

“As a kid I just read everything I could and seemed to have the sort of brain that absorbed facts and stories and then later, I started to write about it.

“The whole reason I wrote the book was because Dad encouraged me to do it and though the Great Scorer gave him out on 87 and he never quite made it to publication day, I dedicated the book to his memory.

Llanishen Fach Primary School team c1971. Richard is far right, the top row. “In my defence, Beatles haircuts were still a thing”

“I am still surprised that people seem to enjoy it so much. I chuckle to myself that people are reading is all over the world. It has just been published in India and it all started in Heol Uchaf, I suppose.”

The Spectator describes the book as ‘absorbing and entertaining . . . this is a very good cricketing history indeed, and highly recommended.’

While Wisden Cricket Monthly calls it: ‘a warm and generous history that glows with love as well as learning’.

Available in hardback, paperback, or Kindle editions, you can buy Cricketing Lives from Waterstones, Reaktion Books, or Amazon.

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