North Richmond Street, being blind, is a quiet street. There is nothing there to tell you what went on at No 17, the red-brick terrace house where James Joyce lived as a kid. Round the back there is a courtyard garden, where Joyce spent happy hours batting against his brother John. “I remember having to bowl for him for perhaps an hour at a time,” John wrote. “I did so out of pure goodness of heart since, for my part, I loathed the silly, tedious, inconclusive game.” James was a “useful bat” and “eagerly studied the feats of Ranji and Fry, Trumper and Spofforth”. Years later he threaded the four of them into the text of Finnegans Wake.
It was the week for old stories about Irish cricketers. There is another about Samuel Beckett, half-true, about how, when he lived in Ussy-sur-Marne, he would drive the neighbour’s boy to school in his convertible. The kid was so big he could not fit in the bus seats. When he grew up they called him André the Giant. “I asked André what he and the famous author talked about when they were together,” wrote Cary Elwes. “‘Mostly cricket,’ André recalled.” Beckett opened the batting and bowling for Trinity College. He had a first-class batting average of 8.75 and, like Joyce, he never lost his taste for it.
Written by Andy Bull
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2018/may/15/ireland-moment-sun-setting-test-cricket-malahide-pakistan under the title “Ireland’s moment in the sun comes just as it is setting on Test cricket”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.