19th June, England v South Africa, 09:30 GMT
In summer 2007 cricket obsessive Sandy Balfour’s sixteen-year-old daughter fell in love. The problem – for Sandy – was that the boy didn’t like cricket. He’d never played it. Never watched it. Never cared about it. Instead he was a skateboarding ‘Boy Wonder’. But when a broken ankle scuppered the boy’s summer holiday plans, he agreed reluctantly to accompany Sandy to Lord’s. So began a season where the ‘master’ teaches his ‘novice’ pupil the wisdom of cricket. And as the Boy Wonder slowly developed an appreciation for the sound of leather on willow, so Sandy began to bond with his daughter’s first love.
Written as a beginner’s guide to the infuriatingly perverse game, What I Love About Cricket is a beautiful, funny account of one summer of love – of the love of a father for his daughter, a man for a sport and of two teenagers experiencing it for the first time. Against the backdrop of an English cricket season, Sandy recalls the role of cricket both in his life and in life in general. But just as the Boy Wonder is converted to cricket’s virtues, cursed forever to watch the men in white and wait for the rain to stop, he begins to drift apart from Sandy’s daughter.
What I Love About Cricket is a wonderfully observed, witty and moving reflection on fathers and daughters, love and life and, of course, cricket.
Sandy Balfour plays and watches a lot of cricket. In his spare time he is a journalist, author and social activist. He is the executive chair of the UK's leading Fairtrade chocolate company and has written four previous books including the critically acclaimed Vulnerable in Hearts and Pretty Girl in Crimson Rose (8). He lives in London with his girlfriend and their three children.
Published in paperback by Ebury Press, £7.99