Introducing the Cricket Web Books Review Team:
Sean Ehlers - Head of Cricket Books
Sean, who was born in 1966, is a true cricket tragic, a man who can name every Australian Test captain in order from 1877 to the present time, but whose greatest claim to fame is scoring 66* and taking three catches in one match (he usually leaves out the fact that it was 5th grade).
He owns 1,100 cricket books and is steadily working his way through them, having completed just over 600 to date. Sean is a self confessed Sir Neville Cardus fan, but also enjoys some of the modern writers such as Haigh, Frith and Chalke.
Cardus once described Archie MacLaren 'as the noblest roman', that piece of writing conjured up some heroic images in the impressionable young mind of Sean, hence the review name Archie Mac.
Sean is currently researching a book on the great Australian left hander of the 'golden age' Clem Hill, but life keeps finding a way of slowing down his progress in this project.
Born the youngest of 6 kids in 1972, Stuart grew up watching cricket with his three older brothers, as he had no choice in the matter. He has played cricket (quite poorly it must be said) for many years across country NSW until failing eyesight caused his early retirement. His greatest cricketing moment was helping the University of New England's First XI to reach the A-grade grand final by scoring an unbeaten 4 runs batting one handed at no. 11 (he had smashed his finger earlier in the match which had resulted in a broken bone/dislocated top joint/burst artery and 12 stitches to sew the top back on).
He only owns around 1000 cricket books, but as he is so much younger than Sean, he has a few years to catch up!
Stuart is currently trying to write a book about the Gregory family and their contribution to the development of cricket in Australia. Around 60,000 words into the project, his PhD supervisors are complaining about the lack of progress in other writing areas, and this book is sadly on the back-burner for a year or two.
When not mulling over such pressing concerns as why Christmases are merry and New Years happy, Rodney is dedicating much of his peculiar existence to cricket. Not a particularly great player himself, he takes more pride in his ten ducks for the 2006/07 season than a batting average of 100 for its predecessor.
Rodney's literary tastes are not classical -- Cardus, he reckons, is a pretentious old fart, but he worships genial conversationalists like Harry East and A.A. Thomson. He is fully aware of the hypocrisy of his stance, though, for his writing errs obviously on the side of schmaltzy verbosity. Thankfully, he has vowed to keep the thesaurus locked safely away for the duration of his spell on Cricket Web.
Born in 1989, the first of two children, Rodney last year scraped his unworthy way into university. He is not yet certain of what path he would like his life to follow, but a long and fulfilling career as a benevolent dictator has always looked appealing.
Like his Cricket Web colleagues, Rodney has ambitions of authorship. Spurred on by some startling serendipity, he is obsessed with any and every detail concerning the 1882 Ashes Test -- do contact him and share --, but it is unlikely that his tome will reach completion within the next eon. The demands on his time are great, and it takes no small amount of work to keep up a batting average of three.
David has been into cricket in a big way since 1976. Despite now living in Kent he has continued to support Surrey, where he was born and brought up.
He rarely goes to international matches but is a committed supporter of county cricket, who aims to get to around 15 games a year, and ideally one new ground a season.
Although he turned out on a number of occasions for the local village team until around 10 years ago, he's always been more of a watcher than a player. And reader - he has a modest collection of 160 or so books including an unbroken collection of Wisdens going back to 1950.He will never have the shelf space to compete with the likes of Archie Mac though.
Martin J Chandler
Martin's father was a lifelong cricket lover and in his youth a fine attacking batsman. While Martin inherited the family love of the game to his eternal frustration the cricketing talent passed him by and his career as a tedious late order batsman ended in his mid 30's.
The measure of Martin's love for the game and his limited playing ability lies in the statistic that his career runs total is now comfortably exceeded by the number of volumes in his cricket library.
Like other reviewers Martin's ambition is to write his own volume to enrich the literature of the game but sadly to date his need to earn a living in order to continue to make a realistic contribution to the welfare of the world's cricket book dealers means that his biography of Bill Voce has yet to get past the planning stage.