The Viney Agency

JOHN LAZENBY

David AmbroseJohn Lazenby is a journalist and author who began his career on local newspapers in Sussex more than 25 years ago. He joined the Press Association in London in 1989, working as an editor on the news desk before transferring to sport. In his role as a rugby and cricket writer, he travelled the UK and Europe, filing copy for morning and evening newspapers throughout the country. Since 1997, he has worked as a freelance journalist on national newspapers, including the Times, the Sunday Times, the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph and the Independent. In addition to his career as a print journalist, he has worked as a freelance sports broadcaster for radio and television.

John’s first book, Test of Time: Travels in Search of a Cricketing Legend was inspired by his grandfather, the Kent and England cricketer, J.R. Mason. John traced his footsteps on England’s 1897-98 tour of Australia, his interest sparked by the discovery of a cache of letters his grandfather had written home. Described by BBC Sport as “a great read” and by the Sydney Morning Herald as a “delightful and unusual book”, Test of Time was well received in both the UK and Australia. It was selected as a finalist for the MCC/Cricket Society’s Book of the Year award in 2005, longlisted for the William Hill Prize and chosen as one of The Wisden Cricketer’s Books of the Year for 2005. Bloomsbury published his Edging Towards Darkness in 2017.

Praise for Edging Towards Darkness;

‘Almost 80 years on, Lazenby has...meticulously researched and carefully reconstructed the story of one of the game's most notorious Test matches and a tour that was played beneath the gathering clouds of World War II’. ESPN Cricinfo

‘Lazenby's skilful writing has produced a serious contender for book of the year...What are you waiting for? Buy a copy, I can guarantee you'll love it’. Cricketweb

For more information visit www.themediaanimal.co.uk

LATEST BOOK: EDGING TOWARDS DARKNESS

David Ambrose
Cricket matches didn't always top out at five days, regardless of a result or not - they used to be 'timeless', with play continuing until one team won, no matter how many days that took. The last of these - which took place in Durban in 1939, in a series pitched against the backdrop of impending war - is now universally acknowledged as 'the timeless Test'.

Weighing in at a prodigious ten days - the match stretched from 3-14 March 1939, and allowed for two rest days, while one day's play (the eighth) was lost entirely to rain - it is quite simply the longest Test ever played. A litany of records also perished in its wake and 'whole pages of Wisden were ruthlessly made obsolete'. If that was not enough, one player, the fastidious South African batsman Ken Viljoen, felt the need to have his hair cut twice during the game. Only the matches between Australia and England at Melbourne in 1929, which lasted eight playing days, and West Indies and England at Sabina Park, Jamaica, a year later (seven days), come remotely close in terms of their duration.

In Edging Towards Darkness, John Lazenby tells the story of that Test for the first time. Set firmly in its historical and social setting, the story balances this game against the threat of encroaching world war in Europe - unfolding at terrifying speed - before bringing these two disparate strands together in an evocative and vibrant denouement.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Edge of Darkness, Bloomsbury, 2017; The Strangers Who Came Home, Bloomsbury, 2015; Test of Time: Travels in Search of a Cricketing Legend, John Murray, 2005. Tom and Huckleberry, Samuel French, 1991.

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