Andrew Samson

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Ducks

Recently I was reminded of that wonderful Duck Song my husband found when our nieces were visiting quite some time back now. It made me think of other duck mentions…

Naughty little ducklings help count in On the Farm.

The Baby Cookie Monster reminds me of a duck, don’t you think?

In his war diary of 1942-1943, young Billy Palmer talks of catching duck and pheasant for food when the latter was scarce.

A slight variation on the term duck features in Tea at the Opalaco and other stories.

And of course, we have to include The Moon is Toast for all those players who went ‘out for duck’.

The image is from Twitter, 30 Dec 2016 (@leslietate) and in case you missed what it said: Anatidaephobia is the fear that somewhere in the world, there is a duck watching you.

First published 9 April 2017, updated 2024

Andrew Samson 0

Cricket

The Ashes – Cricket

I couldn’t resist. When this post was first written (June 2015) England and Australia faced each other to battle it out for the urn containing the ashes of English cricket. It has since been updated.

Cricket’s a game you either love or hate, although it seems that even within the sport there are strong opinions: you either love the 5-day test and detest 20/20 or vice versa. The one-day or limited over 50-ball game seems to be firmly in the middle, having moved up in the rankings of Test specialists. Coming to the game late, I understand those who have little time or interest in it. But there are some wonderful benefits to a day at the cricket. Think sun shine and a patch of grass to sit on (and a good book in the bag in case…).

TSL has been lucky to sign the BBC Test Match Special Cricket Statistician, Andrew Samson. With Andrew as one of our authors, we just had to feature a post on Cricket.

The most famous books concerning cricket are no doubt the Wisden‘s Cricketers Almanack. Our main interest though is novels or works of fiction, although if you’re interested in what the life of a Cricket Statistician entails, why not read Andrew Samson‘s The Moon is Toast?

Books mentioning Cricket

Prominent on the novel front is Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers (1836) and Tom Brown’s Schooldays by Thomas Hughes (1857).

The game features on the cover of PG Wodehouse’s Mike (1909) and in Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe (1982) the Ashes trophy gets stolen.

A game of cricket features in Shaka are Dead and Powerless by John Samson and a cricket cap in Ray Wooster‘s A Boy’s War Journal. Mention is made of the game in Anna Ryland‘s A Second Chance and David FerrisThe Secret Life of Creatures

Heaven’s RageLeslie Tate
Rhys’ adventures (Training a Greyhound and Urgent Pocket Money Required) – Beatrice Holloway

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Andrew Samson

Andrew Samson
Andrew is a cricket statistician of note. Since 2009 he has worked for BBC Test Match Special.

In 1994 he was appointed statistician for Cricket South Africa having worked for various radio stations providing cricket statistics since 1988. He contributes to Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, South African Cricket Annual and various cricketers’ biographies.

He has been a member of the Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians since 1980 and was on the committee from 2003 to 2007. He was the Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians Statistician of the Year for 2013. He was Official Statistician for the following ICC events in South Africa: Cricket World Cup 2003, World Twenty20 2007 and World Cup Qualifier 2009.

He is co-author of:
* “1107 All Out – The Cricketer’s Quiz Book” with Peter Fridjhon.
* “The Blue Book” with Andre Odendaal and Krish Reddy.
* “South African and International Sports Fact Finder” and SuperSport Fact Finder produced annually between 1992 and 1997 with Anton Berkovitz.

Between 2009 and 2011, he presented Go Figure on Radio 702 in South Africa. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AWSStats.

‘Top Cricket Scorer’ Andrew was interviewed in July 2018 by The Cricket Magazine.

Two cricket fans meet at Jeremy’s Restaurant, thanks to Arnie Wilson, August 2018

Books by Andrew

Book index is below

What people are saying about The Moon is Toast

Dee is chuckling away over our studio copy of Moon, she loves Andrew’s sense of humour – Deevine Design, South Africa

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Review by Andrew Roberts, Cricket Fan
Review by Rajesh Kumar, Cricket Statistician


The Moon is Toast – Index

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Cows

For those who don’t know me, I love cows!

I think my love of cows goes back to my childhood (one of my grandfather‘s was a dairy farmer for a while) but that’s a story for another day (or couch). Cows are serene animals and their colouring and proportions just seem to fit no matter where they originate – although having said this, perusal of Beautiful Cows led to two exceptions: the Belgian Blue (disproportional) and the Charolais (too much like a sheep – another of my favourite animals).

Has anyone found the answer to this question by Bill Watterson “Who was the guy who first looked at a cow and said ‘I think I’ll drink whatever comes out of these when I squeeze ’em?” ?

Recently, I came across an article about  Cows going to Antarctica in 1933 – I wonder how they survived?

Cows and their relatives feature in numerous books. Some on my list, other than Beautiful Cows, already mentioned, include:

Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young
Bringing the rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema. Although this is a Nandi tale, it has an image of a Maasai – well known for their love of cows.
A Boy’s War Journal by Ray Wooster
The Celebration Husband by Maya Alexandri
The Lake Tanganyika Expedition 1914-1917: A primary source chronology by GWAA
and various by Laurens van der Post who was a dairy farmer for some time.

And although no mention in the book, The Moon is Toast, by Andrew Samson, cow corner is a fielding position in cricket. I think the link explains why the term does not feature in the diary of a cricket statistician.

I couldn’t resist this quote by Dorothy Sayers: “Facts are like cows. If you look them in the face long enough, they generally run away”, or perhaps they just got bored!

Since first writing this post, cows have been a major part of Marthe Kiley-Worthington’s Family are the Friends you Choose

The image of the cows is from the Milk Exibition which was at the Welcome Institute, April 2023.

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