Since July 2006 I have been writing the cricket blog Different Shades of Green.
The main motivation for starting it was to give myself a more immediate and personal outlet for my writing than I’d had before. Although it’s often been hard work, I’ve enjoyed it immensely and a lot of the pieces I’ve written have attracted interest from all over the world. The title came to me in a rare moment of creative inspiration which stemmed from reading the collected works (Green Fading Into Blue, André Deutsch, 1999) of my favourite English cricket writer of the old school, Alan Ross. I like to think that the title conveys some of the colour and lyricism of the game itself, but it has an unfortunate tendency to bring people to the site via Google who are only interested in obtaining guidance on interior decorating projects.
In 2010 Patrick Kidd of The Times was kind enough to include Different Shades in his list of the ‘World’s 50 Best Cricket Websites’. No financial inducement was involved, but, Paddy, you can come again.
The pieces reproduced here are almost all about cricket, although the great Seve and the unforgettable London Olympics of 2012 make guest appearances, and they are my personal favourites. The fact that they were written just after the events they describe give them an immediacy which the longer pieces which appear elsewhere on the site don’t have, although sometimes the judgements made in them don’t benefit from being read with the perspective of several years’ hindsight.
Such, though, is life.