I know next to nothing about cricket (much to my grandmother and my father’s chagrin) and never much enjoyed playing it or watching it. Though, during a day’s filming Escape to the Country at the Somerset County Cricket ground, I discovered that cricket fans d’un certain âge really enjoying watching me. I was practically mobbed as I strolled through the crowds.
That aside, I was struck and by this image from the cricket photographer Patrick Eagar in the LRB this month. It’s the Australian fast bowler Jeff Thomson captured at Lords in 1974. When I was four and my father, who was then 32, was probably sitting inside during a hot day watching the match.
I don’t know much about cricket but I do know something about dance and dancers and male beauty and I’d have to say that this photo is primarily about the motion of the body in space. As the author in the LRB points out, the glimpse of the cricket ball between his legs makes the picture work. But for me it is the hair, the floppy collar and the sense of un-sponsored elegance of the shot that magnetises it.