A lifetime in cricket writing – Mike Coward interview

81 All Out  > Conversation, Memories >  A lifetime in cricket writing – Mike Coward interview

We speak to the veteran journalist and author Mike Coward, who has watched and covered cricket over six decades. Coward rewinds the clock to various points in his illustrious career and talks about the importance of journalists and players trusting each other. He also opens up on his experience of being an openly gay journalist – and how the male cricketers can take a lead from the women on making it a more inclusive game.

Note: War Minus The Shooting by Mike Marqusee, recently republished by 81allout, is now available on Amazon.com, Amazon.in, Flipkart

Talking Points:

  • An Adelaide childhood – and Les Favell as a ‘summer god’
  • Working in the newspaper industry in the 1960s – the smells, sights, and sounds
  • A dream stint in England – meeting Rod Laver, the 1972 Olympics, and the Ashes
  • The magnanimity of Richie Benaud and Ian Chappell
  • World Series Cricket and how it polarized the game and media
  • Mike’s love for the subcontinent – and how he was drawn to the culture and spirituality
  • The importance of Allan Border for India-Australia relations
  • Covering the 1986 tied Test from an open press box, bathed in sweat
  • Bradman, Tendulkar, Warne and Gilchrist – genius in contrast
  • The experience of being an openly gay sports writer
  • ‘You can’t be what you can’t see’: the value in players coming out
  • Sharing pressbox with legendary journalists like Ray Robinson and Alan McGilvray


Mike Coward

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan (@sidvee)

Mahesh Sethuraman (@cornerd)


Mike Coward’s books 

Collection of Mike Coward’s articles for ESPNcricinfo

A boy’s own idol – Mike Coward on Les Favell – Wisden Asia Cricket

The subcontinent beyond the cliches – 81allout podcast with Russell Jackson and Daniel Brettig on Cricket Beyond the Bazaar

Calypso Summer – YouTube documentary on the 1960-61 series

Madras Magic – YouTube documentary on the tied Test in Madras

Calypso Summer – Mike Coward – Amazon.com

Little Master becomes mere mortal – Mike Coward – Fox Sports

The warmth of a sweltering city – Mike Coward on Chennai – ESPNcricinfo

Embracing the East: Suresh Menon on Cricket Beyond the Bazaar – ESPNcricinfo

When a tie was a victory for Border’s battlers – Michael Sexton on his book about the tied Test in Madras – 81allout podcast

The Final Frontier: Mike Coward – The Greatest Season That Was podcast

‘It long irked me that sports writing, in this country, has been devalued’ – Mike Coward’s speech at the ASC Lifetime Achievement Awards in 2015

Fair Game – Alex Blackwell – Amazon.com


Lead image courtesy Mike Coward.

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