Although a average cricketer himself, Derek Malcolm cannily skippered – Mike Brearley-style – a robust and profitable Guardian 11, for which I “guested” over a number of seasons. Derek led the aspect on excursions to India and Sri Lanka, and opponents again house included a crew raised yearly by that different nice cricket aficionado, Harold Pinter.
When Derek was named critic of the yr within the mid-Nineteen Seventies, I despatched him a telegram. He replied: “Thanks, however would slightly have been cricketer of the yr.”
Within the early Nineteen Eighties, I nervously joined the critics’ throng firstly of every week in normally subterranean Soho cinemas. Though a few years my senior, Derek Malcolm proved probably the most approachable.
He advised me of taking a Guardian cricket crew in 1974 to India, the place they misplaced eight matches to slightly extra distinguished opposition in Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi. Their being the primary real membership aspect from England to go to made the journey further particular to such a fan of latest Indian cinema as Derek.