The Press: Thin-Spun Runs

Admiring the "good grammar" of a cricket player's batting, the Manchester Guardian's scholarly Neville Cardus once called the batsman, a Lancashireman named Watson, "the [Samuel] Johnson of cricket." Demanded outraged Cricketer Watson: "Who did this bloke Johnson play for?"

Players are often baffled by the allusions that Neville Cardus, who usually lugs a good book along to the cricket field, chips into his cameo-chiseled reports on Britain's national game. Slight, myopic Cardus is probably the world's only cricket critic who also doubles in brass and woodwinds as a music reviewer. For 30 years, in covering his "strange dichotomy," first for the Guardian...

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