Cricket in Uzbekistan: some writing for the 2014 Wisden Almanack

Wisden Almanack 2014This year’s Wisden Almanack includes a piece that I wrote for its ‘Cricket Round The World’ section, about Uzbekistan’s first ever cricket tournament.

 It’s been a highlight of my year to write about two things that fascinate me – cricket and the post-Soviet republics – in a book alongside my favourite writers; Wisden 2014 has essays by Gideon Haigh, Ed Smith and its editor Lawrence Booth.

The latest Cricket Round The World comes from Colombia, Hungary, Iran, Nauru and Japan, as well as Uzbekistan and other places. To find out about the games in Tashkent, just send me an email.

There is a now a book of memorable past CRTW stories – Elk Stopped Play.

Also: From Russia With Stumps – my tale of creating London’s Eastern European cricket team.

You can support a children’s charity in Central Asia that I am involved with, HealthProm, by sponsoring me in a 10km run.



A travel guide to Kazan (Tatarstan, Russia) for The Calvert Journal

City Guide to KazanRead my travel guide to the city of Kazan – the capital of the republic of Tatarstan in central Russia – in The Calvert Journal.


“Created by Tatars, evolved by khans, tsars and Russians, and invigorated by cosmopolitan leaders over the last ten years to attract visitors from near and far; it would be passé to describe the centre of Tatarstan as a “melting pot”, were that not the meaning of Qazan, the word the Tatars chose for their town. Distant and accessible, Russian and Muslim, with spotless avenues and open spaces to complement its cultural credentials, Kazan is a treat to explore…”


My Golden Ones: the Road to Pamukkale (Turkey)

Please follow the link to read my story “My Golden Ones” – about a bus journey between the towns of Kemer, Antalya, Denizli and Pamukkale in southern Turkey – on the Caravanistan Silk Road travel blog.

Pamukkale, Turkey

> My photographs from Turkey can be found in my photo sets.


Captaining a team to second-last place in an indoor cricket tournament is an unlikely thing to take pride in, even when your sporting CV is as modest as mine. But then, the colleagues that answered my call to play in our company’s 8-a-side cup this autumn were the unlikeliest of cricketers.

I had a month to teach three Russians, a Ukrainian, a Bulgarian, a Slovenian and a Vietnamese – four lads and three ladies, none of whom had ever played before – how to bat,  bowl and field. Finding time to practice together was difficult (I am surely the first captain to cancel a net because my best bowler was in Magnitogorsk), but three lunchtimes a week I took a Kwik Cricket set to London’s Regent’s Park, and made everyone try each of the skills. My teammates’ enthusiasm never wilted: anglophiles all, they threw themselves into the challenge of a complicated English game.

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The plain text version of my article “Going For Gold: The London 2012 Olympic Games” is copied below – but please follow the link to read the full version in the July 2012 issue of Ukraine International Airlines’ Panorama magazine, with photographs, additional information and useful links.

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Blue Sky Thinking: A Chat with an Aviation Legend

Fred Finn – the world’s most travelled man

London, November 2011

In July 2011 I was asked by Ukraine International Airlines to organise an interview with Fred Finn, the world’s most travelled man, for their in-flight magazine Panorama. Over 52 years of travelling Mr. Finn has flown more than 24 million kilometres, to 139 countries, and took more flights on Concorde than anyone else.

Our interview “Blue Sky Thinking: A Chat with an Aviation Legend” features some exciting locations, famous people, exotic stories and good advice, and can be found in the November 2011 edition of Panorama.

(Please click on the above link to read the interview. A new page will open, on which you can click on another blue “Panorama” link to open it in pdf format.)

- Browse more of my travel writing, articles and short stories on my published writing page.











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