Tribute to Patrick Eagar

Tomorrow marks Patrick Eagar’s 300th[1] Test match. It is a phenomonal achievement to have stayed at the top of his profession, in what has become a frenzied market, for so long. There will be a presentation made to him at some point during the Test, and it is richly deserved. He is an outstanding artist and photographer who has captured the vast majority of iconic imagery in cricket in the past 30 or 40 years. I’ve only met him a couple of times, but he’s a true gent – accomodating, interesting and without a trace of pomposity or ceremony about him which, given the success he has had, you might expect to be the case.

Congratulations Patrick. And so what if he missed the last two West Indies Tests in order to stage his 300th at the home of cricket! Check out his website; you’ll probably spot half a dozen photos which you’ve already seen (not least the catch Andrew Strauss took during the 2005 Ashes).

[1] At least, I think it’s the 300th – could be more…

The new Munaf Patel?

Another good shot of a young Indian wannabe

I still haven’t discovered what it is that appeals to me about cricket photos from the subcontinent. I love all cricket photography, partly because I’m an amateur snapper myself but mainly because there’s something mystical about “freezing” action into one moment. Perhaps it’s that cricket is to India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh what football is to Britain. But moreover cricket on the subcontinent appears born from the dust and soil. With the exception of the privileged, children aren’t given shiny white pads and a slazenger bat for their 7th birthday; they play with sticks, on dusty tracks, on railways, platforms, mountains and wherever they choose. It’s much more a way of living, of passing time, than it is of playing the game.

That’s my blinkered view of it anyway. I’m hopefully going to India in November briefly, so perhaps I’ll bring back some shots of my own (and some reasoning/words to go with them).