Two North Sydney Dads have an extra reason to join plenty of other cricket tragics staying up late watching or listening to with The Ashes series, starting on 10 July. Authors Dave Cornford and Jeremy Pooley are harnessing their passion for cricket to write a witty, behind the scenes account of each day of Australia's Ashes Tour of England.
Their blog - "The Diary of the 17th Man" - is written as a daily diary from the perspective of the "17th Man", the mythical last man selected in the Australian Cricket Touring squad and the player very unlikely to get a Test berth.
"What happens on and off the cricket field has many parallels in daily life", says Cornford. "We wanted to bring these events together in a way that everyone can enjoy. So we created a set of characters only loosely modelled on the actual Test players, with the 17th Man there to comment each day as it happens - without aiming to make fun of the actual players. We then weave these events into an delightful and engaging story about the characters, the team and their Tour experiences."
"Traditional cricket commentary concentrates on the actual play," says Pooley. "We have created something extra for all cricket followers - children and adults. Children love reading about the pranks and side stories. Women love the language and humour. The men like the take on serious events. We write diary entries at several levels to accommodate these perspectives always using humour and parody to create delight."
The Dads started writing in February as the Test players departed for the Tour of India. "It all started with an offhand comment over a coffee," Pooley said.
They have since self-published two books: ‘Dust to Dust' - an account of the Australian Tour of India 2013 and ‘The Ashes Files', the applications for batsmen and spin bowlers to join the Australian Test squad that were rejected by Cricket Australia. Both are available at amazon.com as ebooks, with Dust to Dust also available as a paperback, illustrated by award winner catoonist Jock McNeish.
The reception has been over-whelming. "We have definitely hit a chord with readers" said Cornford. "And we are growing our following quickly on our website, twitter, and facebook. If you want to listen to the Diary, there's always the Podcast on iTunes as well."
"It's occupying part of the late evening normally taken with sleep," Pooley added, "but it is fun!"
The Dads are planning a series of books about the Ashes Tour to be published in September and after the Ashes home series in February
Join the 17th Man at 17thmandiary.com or on twitter (@17thmandiary)
The 17thmandiary is the brainchild start up writing adventure of Dave Cornford and Jeremy Pooley. Cornford is a full time writer and self-publisher of fiction books. Pooley works in the finance sector. Both live in Sydney. Both are cricket tragics and live in cricket mad households. The resemblance ends here. Jock McNeish is an award winning inventor, cartoonist, corporate facilitator and successful jack of all trades. Jock lives in Melbourne
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