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The Following Game, mentioned in The Australian December 20, 2011

Posted by Alex, Managing Director in Peridot Press.

It was a nice surprise to see Jonathan Smith’s excellent memoir The Following Game – published in June by our imprint Peridot Press – mentioned in a feature in The Australian newspaper yesterday.

Eminent journalist Gideon Haigh, writing about John Inverarity’s promotion to chairman of selectors for the Australian cricket team in a feature titled On the hunt for a few good men, explains how Inverarity spent some time as a teacher of mathematics at Tonbridge School in Kent, UK, where he met head of English Jonathan Smith. Haigh writes:

Perhaps the salient distinction between Inverarity’s career and that of one of his modern charges is that at the peak of his success he decided to put his career on hold, in January 1976 accepting a job in the mathematics faculty at Kent’s Tonbridge School, which came about through a friendship with the school’s most distinguished old boy, Colin Cowdrey.

“I felt that cricket was getting a grip of me, that winning the Shield had become an obsession,” explains Inverarity. “And things in Perth were at the time probably just a little easy. You had good standing, some authority. I thought: “It’s probably better for us as a family if we go off somewhere for a while on our own.”

At Tonbridge, Inverarity, his wife Jane and daughters Alison and Kate became friendly with the novelist Jonathan Smith, father of the future Test batsman and gifted journalist Ed. In Jonathan Smith’s recent memoir of life as a cricket lover and father, The Following Game, he describes Inverarity as possessing Montaigne’s quality of “severe gentleness”.

“There was kindness but there was toughness,” writes Smith. “There was understanding but there was expectation.” He describes Inverarity as possessing an ability to look “hard and straight at the world as it is, with hope, and certainly with a measure of idealism, but with clear eyes.”




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