Russian animals in space – for Russia Beyond the Headlines

Follow the link to read my article “Animals in space: What does it take to be tasked with exploring the Universe before humans?” for Russia Beyond The Headlines … More Russian animals in space – for Russia Beyond the Headlines

Cricket in Uzbekistan: some writing for the 2014 Wisden Almanack

The Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack 2014 includes a short piece that I wrote for its ‘Cricket Round The World’ section, about Uzbekistan’s first ever cricket tournament. Cricket Round The World this year comes from Colombia, Hungary, Iran, Nauru and Japan, as well as Uzbekistan and other places. Wisden 2014 has essays by Gideon Haigh, Ed Smith and its editor Lawrence Booth. … More Cricket in Uzbekistan: some writing for the 2014 Wisden Almanack

The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games

South Korean figure skater Yuna Kim, a superstar in her homeland, will be competing for the last time at the age of 23. Contenders at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games come mainly from the traditional medal-hungry nations – Canada, Germany, the USA, Norway, South Korea and Switzerland topped the table in 2010 – but athletes from some snow-starved parts of the world are also making their way to Sochi. This year there will be competitors from Brazil, Cyprus, the Philippines… and even the tiny kingdom of Tonga. … More The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games

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

My Golden Ones: the Road to Pamukkale (Turkey)

The sun rises above the palm trees as we leave Kemer. It lights up the Taurus Mountains on the left of the road, changing them from a purple silhouette into a series of steep, green hills. As we join the road to Antalya the bus stops every few hundred yards to pick up more holidaymakers from the hotels in its affluent suburbs. By the time we reach Gőynűk the bus is full, but its passengers are barely making a sound. Soon I am the only one awake. The sea to our right was calm, shimmering as the low sun above it threw bright, pale light on to the water. It is because of mornings like this that Turks call the Mediterranean Akdeniz – the White Sea. … More My Golden Ones: the Road to Pamukkale (Turkey)

FROM RUSSIA WITH STUMPS

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. … More FROM RUSSIA WITH STUMPS