A Fourth Innings with Cardus, featuring essays and articles written for ‘The Guardian’, ‘The Spectator’ and ‘The Sunday Times’, ranges over the entire fifty-odd years of Sir Neville Cardus’ writing career, turning from one aspect of the game to another with fluent skill and joyfully evident pleasure. As we herald the start of a new summer of cricket, Sir Neville Cardus can only welcome it with happy anticipation:
“When cricket return to us each year we welcome it with a warm and almost mystical devotion not given to other games; for it is part of the springtime and the renewal of things. Old men in the clubs emerge and go to Lord’s in taxis – though I know one stalwart who walks three miles there and three miles home every day – and the fresh air enlivens them.”
A Fourth Innings with Cardus examines the styles and merits of legendary players: Compton, “a sorcerer’s apprentice”; Leyland, “a lovable fighter”; Worrell, “the most completely stylish of all West Indian batsmen”; and Tyldesley, whose cricket “touched an excellence rare even amongst the masters”.
For any reader, cricket lover or not, this collection can be nothing less than sheer delight, reflecting as it does the thoughts and feelings of a man completely at ease with his pen, contentedly happy in his occupation and thoroughly knowledgeable about a game he loved in all its manifestations.
Neville Cardus wrote about music and cricket for ‘The Manchester Guardian’ for many years. He is credited with changing how journalists wrote about cricket, turning what had been merely factual reporting into vivid description and criticism.
Other Cardus books: