A copy of Wisden (and more) in A Clockwork Orange

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Send your pictures of cricket bats and other cricket stuff in unusual places to king@kingcricket.co.uk. Feel free to put the cricket thing in the unusual place yourself.

Wisden makes a cameo appearance in A Clockwork Orange. Thanks to Andrew for pointing this out to us via Twitter.

The Wisden bit is of course not the only time cricket features in the film.

Malcolm McDowell said: “One day, I asked Stanley [Kubrick] what my friends the ‘droogs’ were going to look like. He said: ‘What have you got?’ I said: ‘The only thing in my car is my cricket bag.’ So I put my whites on. He asked what the groin protector was, and when I told him, he said: ‘Wear it on the outside!’ That became the look.”

Anyone know if Malcolm McDowell was any good at cricket?


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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      1. I am curious how much overlap there is in the Esquire and King Cricket readership Venn diagram

    1. Excellent work Ged, I was going to suggest daneel could be in the overlap but I the reference below to ‘another magazine I don’t read’ seems to clarify that.

  1. McDowell talks of being a cricket fan, which is usually another way of saying “not very good at playing cricket”.

    Harold Pinter, who is quite central to daneel’s Esquire piece, was both a fan and someone who took his amateur cricket seriously, but he was self-confessedly not much good.

    I take comfort in these icons being keen but not much use. Serious fans like me need to take solace wherever we can.

    A Clockwork Orange is a stunning movie, btw. Still shocking and thought-provoking in its dotage.

    1. Anthony Burgess was a remarkable writer/linguist/composer. This is the opening lines from Earthly Powers.

      ‘It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday, and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the archbishop had come to see me.’

      Not sure if he was an avid fan of cricket. He died in St. John’s Wood.

      1. Interesting article, Daneel. Not so long ago, I spent a happy morning at The Burgess Foundation in Manchester researching the time he spent on Malta.

        Veering back to cricket, for the interested, BBC Test Match Special have reposted a few interviews in their View from the Boundary. The conversation with Peter O’Toole is splendid.

      2. Interesting character, was Burgess.

        More interesting as a character than as a novelist – A Clockwork Orange being his only enduring piece; Burgess himself recognised Kubrick as the main reason for that endurance. But Burgess could write, that’s for sure.

        Topically interesting background to Burgess’s life; when he was an infant, his mother and kid sister both died in the Spanish Flu pandemic. He was raised by his father whom Burgess always believed to have been resentful that Burgess had lived whereas the others had died.

    2. Two things come to mind from his two-part autobiography. Failing to meet for dinner with CP Snow due to weather conditions, he sent a telegram: Snowbound but snowbound. The other was that he put the ashes of his grandfather into an egg timer, stating that he might as well continue to do something useful.

  2. Reverting to the main topic – in particular that wonderful headline picture of the droogs as depicted in the movie, I’m wondering whether to go for the droog look when we take our one-a-day constitutional.

    I have all the clobber required – I’ve just never chosen to sport it all at the same time.

    Daisy occasionally feels nervous of cyclists and joggers who pay little/no heed to the social distancing rules as they sweatily and breathfully sweep by. I can’t see other people getting that close to us if I dress droog.

    For those who like weird connections, btw, you might vaguely recall my pseudonymous friend Big Al DeLarge whose Lancastrian and cheffy origins gave rise to The Lord’s Throdkin:


    No prizes for working out, in this context, where the pseudonym comes from.

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