Monday, April 15, 2013

Women in cricket and inside jokes by Michelle Styles

One of my favourite parts to write in my latest novel An Ideal Husband? was the cricket scene. The heroine steps in and helps to save a game of cricket.
I will admit to knowing next to nothing about cricket when I first came to England way back in 1984.I knew it was the English version of baseball and that was about all. Then I met my husband and he was cricket mad. My first proper introduction was a One Day International of Australia v England in 1985. The thing that was better than baseball in my humble opinion was that something happened. Runs were scored. And I got to see the great Ian Botham hit several sixes before he was out.
Fast forward to the summer of 1989 and another Ashes series and my first summer in England. I decided a good way to learn about the country was to listen to Test Match Special. It was a long summer for an English supporter.... My husband happened to get a book on the history of Lords and the MCC or Marylebone Cricket Club.
Several of my notions were turned on their head, not the least of which was that women didn't really play cricket. One of the biggest persistent rumours is that the man who popularised overhand bowling in the 1800's did so because his sister found it was a better way to bowl. If you watch bowlers bowling overhand, you will see that they have a funny stiff legged gait which could be attributed to have to run in skirts.
Then there was the whole Ashes bit where the English cricket captain ended up marrying the Australian lady cricketer who burnt the bales and put them in the urn. And of course some of the great WG Grace's prowess was because he used to play cricket against his sister. Women did play cricket  during the 19th century unlike something like rugby.
It was at the back of my mind to have some sort of cricket scene for a very long time and then I started to write Sophie. One of my daughter's favourite books when she was growing up was one by Dick King Smith -- Sophie Hits Six. And I thought for an inside joke to my daughter who had requested the dedication, I would make sure my Sophie hit her six as well.
And thankfully England are now better at cricket than they were back in 1989.
Anyway I had a great deal of fun writing that novel and I do hope people enjoy the scene.
Michelle Styles writes warm, witty and intimate historical romance for Harlequin Historical. Her latest An Ideal Husband was published on 5 April. You can read more about Michelle and her books on


Pat Cochran said...

Thanks for the information on cricket,
I myself have very little knowledge of
the game. Sounds as though your book
will give me further details !

Pat C.

Connie said...

I have this wonderful book sitting next to me waiting to be read. Michelle Styles is a wonderful author!

Mary Preston said...

Every Summer my Father would have the television on to watch the cricket. I'm sorry, but it's like watching paint dry. Very un-Australian of me I know.

Michelle Styles said...

It is better than baseball in many ways. And as my husband and youngest are both gone it, I do watch it or rather do sewing while I watch. It is great for day dreaming as well. I think the lore is fascinating.

Connie -- I hope you enjoy.

Pat -- It is one scene. Cricket is a bit like baseball with two bases but more runs are scored. It is the thing though the British Empire was built on...

Mary Kirkland said...

I love your books. I'm looking forward to reading this one as well. Thanks for visiting us here and letting us know about this book. :)