Will Luke, founder of immensely popular cricket blog The Corridor and staff editor for immensely popular and fountain of all cricket knowledge Cricinfo, managed to tear himself away from commentating on the Ashes for a few moments to answer a couple of ultra-searching questions…
The way you got the job for Cricinfo is a story of which dreams are made. Can you explain what happened?
Right time, right place. Was at the end of my tether trying to find a job (any job). Went home and thought “what would be great…combining cricket and writing” instead of applying for mundane jobs with decent salaries just to sell my soul. Emailed Cricinfo; Andrew Miller, the UK editor, replied and asked to meet. Turned out they were recruiting, and it went from there.
What’s it like working for Cricinfo?
Epic, rewarding, exhausting, hilarious and fattening.
I noticed that your name was attached to the profile for Monty Panesar on Cricinfo. What was it like writing that?
Emotional. I’d just like to thank my agent for setting it up, to my family for always being there and for my friends for supplying me with copious amounts of alcohol. We all do profiles at Cricinfo. We’re each assigned a country but, inevitably, if there’s a profile we spot which is out of date we’ll update it.
Do you think Monty should have been in the Ashes team from Day 1?
Do you get all kinds of cushy assignments working for Cricinfo?
Well, yes we do – but it’s all relative. We’re a small editorial team and have a lot of cricket to cover – an unprecedented amount. So, in no sense are we all swanning off around the world like jet-setting pimps every month. Editorial – our jobs and roles – compromise more than simply sitting around chatting about cricket. We run the biggest sporting website on the internet; most of what you see on the site is run/updated/written/uploaded/changed by us, and there’s a hell of a lot to do. We have very high editorial standards and work our backsides off to meet, and better, them.
What’s the best thing they’ve asked you to do?
I don’t really have one “highlight”; I loved the Twenty20 finals day at Trent Bridge last summer, that was great fun. I’m off to Kenya in January for the World Cricket League so that’ll be the best thing yet.
Did you ever play cricket? Were you any good?
Yes. And no. I was good, and then suffered from the mips – a chronic condition of the yips. I should be playing for England and maintain I am the best legspinner never to play for his country.
Your website The Corridor, used to be called The Corridor of Uncertainty… what caused the name change?
Apparently someone had already registered the name as a trademark. An agreement was initially pencilled, via beer, between us but it fell through. So I shortened it to avoid legal trouble.
Do you ever get sick of living cricket day in day out?
Honestly? Yes. The romance dies after a while but, in its place, you become a gnarled, emotionally numb cynic – all valuable qualities when it’s Boxing Day, England have been blown apart by Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath has just taken his 150th wicket against his old enemy. But at the start of each series, there’s always a renewed vigour and enthusiasm – both as a fan and a writer. And we’re very lucky to be writing for and running such a cool website so cricket, sometimes, plays a second part; we’re trying to do something pretty special with Cricinfo, and we’re getting there.
What’s next for England? Is Fletcher’s position untenable? What would you do to ensure we win the next Ashes series?
Well, England are regressing at a rate of knots, but they (and we) need to remember how quickly things turn around. We have a nucleus of a fine batting side – Bell, Cook, Strauss, Pietersen are a pretty good top four – but our bowling is weak. As for Fletcher, he is a very stubborn man and not a throw-the-towel in sort of bloke. He’s also a fine coach, one of the best batting technicians around; it is his position as a selector that concerns me most. I can’t see him staying beyond the World Cup, unless by some miracle of fate England win it. Kenya stand a better chance…
Many thanks Will. You can find out more about Will roughly here.