Jarrod Kimber, a prominent cricket writer and the author of “Ashes 2009: When Freddie became Jesus” and four other books on cricket, talks about the struggle of opening batsmen, idiosyncratic articles, analytical writing in cricket and World Test Championships.
The English Cricket Board has been struggling to find a solid pair of Test openers for years now. Since 2015, England has tried 16 batsmen for the opening slot. Except for Alistair Cook and night-watchman Jack Leach, no one averages more than 32. Haseeb Hameed lost his county contract recently and Rory Burns is the only one to show promise. However, Jarrod thinks it’s a natural cycle.
All over the globe, opening batsmen are struggling to do well over the past 18 months. The average opening partnership is 26.98 in 2018 and 29.94 in 2018. These are the lowest ever, since 1963. For a minimum scale of 10 matches, only Dimuth Karunaratne and Tom Latham average more than 40. While there may be multiple reasons for it, Jarrod points out the significant ones.
Jarrod is known for his idiosyncratic pieces. His article on most remarkable shots in modern-day cricket was one of the best. Jarrod talks about what interests him in such pieces and how to look at them.
With the emergence of analytical data, we can read numerous articles using statistical analysis based on minute details in recent times. It has been an eye-opener for the fans to see the amount of detail that comes through.
Jarrod Kimber did a self-reflection on his work for EspnCricinfo during the 2019 cricket World Cup. He breaks down the process behind writing every article and his journey through it.
There has been a lot of talk about World Test Championship ever since it began. Issues like points allotment based on home and away matches, number of matches per series etc. are being criticized a lot on social media. Jarrod talks about WTC’s significance, despite the flaws it carries.
Apart from understanding the nuances of cricket and the beauty of it, Jarrod is one of the very few in the world from whom we can learn a lot about the method and science behind writing about sports. And for aspiring sports writers, it is important to learn it from every possible source around.