A King Cricket health check – what did our Patreon crowdfunding campaign achieve last year?

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Last January, we took a look back on our Patreon-funded output from the previous year. We did this partly to highlight what crowdfunding is doing for this website, but just as importantly to keep ourself on track. We thought we’d now repeat the exercise for the year just gone.

If you aren’t already aware, we run a Patreon campaign where readers can, if they want, pledge a monthly sum to help support King Cricket. We launched it in 2019 and since then it has been great. Sustaining an independent website is hard. This place would really only be limping along without it.

Our approach: voluntary contributions to the common good

The way we run our crowdfunder is not like other places. Contributors don’t get access to more of our writing. Nothing is behind a paywall. What we do instead is we use the money raised to carve out extra writing time each month. The more backers we get, the more time we have, the more we can write for the benefit of all of our readers.

It doesn’t always work this way, but we try and make a point of using this Patreon-funded time to write features. These are the longer, less time-sensitive pieces that simply wouldn’t happen without the monthly contributions from our readership. This means we see them as a good measure of whether the crowdfunding campaign is delivering any kind of value.

And are we?

Going back over our 2023 features, we’ve got to be honest, we feel like we went astray a bit. Quite a few articles that we’d stuck in the features section were really just very long news pieces. We’re not saying they were poor work – we rather liked some of them. It’s just that they had a very definite shelf life. There was a lot of looking ahead to the Ashes or the World Cup – stuff like that. They may have felt very important at the time, but now they’re out of date. We’ve actually stripped these ones of ‘featured’ status and removed them from that part of the website.

Looking over what’s left, it’s striking that we had a strong start to the year for features and then they basically went AWOL.

Sorry about that. It seems that at least in some respects, Ashes series and World Cups aren’t good for this website.

Anyway, this is what we did in 2023…

Best of the blobs: Eight of Test cricket’s finest duck-makers

This one was about cricketers who made sterling contributions in the field of duck-scoring. This is the kind of feature we like doing: celebrating the less obvious bits of cricket that aren’t about winning and being brilliant.

Why Ollie Pope is completely wrong that this summer’s Ashes could be like 2005

We’ve no idea why, but for some reason it really, really annoys us when people think a transcendentally great thing was simpler than it was and therefore relatively straightforward to recreate or surpass. What a weirdly specific thing to get annoyed about.

From the 2019 Ashes to two World Cup finals – which of Ben Stokes’ big three high pressure run-chase innings was the most ridiculous?

This is another recurring format in our features – comparisons of things built around needlessly complex made-up scoring systems. It provides a good excuse to write about things we want to revisit though, so we should probably do more of this.

Grim final Tests: 8 players who went out on a massive low

The headline’s pretty self-explanatory. We do sometimes wonder whether our choice of subject matter might say something about us.

What ‘looking ahead to the Ashes’ tells us about Test cricket’s future (and T20 and the IPL)

Quite a serious one, this. You might even call it a ‘think piece’ if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t reflexively wince at a term like that. It’s fundamentally about another of our pet peeves: the notion that units of currency can double up as measures of (a) how much people are interested in something, and (b) how much they care about it. This is such an easy concept to disprove. We pay precisely nothing for the massive hot ball of plasma at the heart of our solar system, but consider it significantly more important than the 20cm saucepan for induction hobs we will at some point get round to purchasing.

Stuart Broad: Titan of Ridiculousness

You want to send the greats off in good style, and we’re pretty happy with this piece. Broad was one of the great comedy England cricketers and we feel like we did him justice.

10 staggeringly indecent highlights and lowlights from the 2023 World Cup – featuring Rohit Sharma, Glenn Maxwell, Ravi Shastri + more

Bit of a cheat, this one, as it’s really just a compilation of our favourite World Cup writings. We quite like having these little hubs where all the various little events from a particular series or tournament are collected together in one place though, so we’ll probably carry on doing them.


We’ve linked back to seven features in this piece. Last year we had 10 entries. It’s not a catastrophe, but we kind of feel like we need to get back on track with features a bit if we want to keep our Patreons happy and the website healthy.

If you’re half-thinking of joining the crowd and doing a smidge of funding, you can find more details on the ins and outs of the Patreon campaign here. For the record, all contributions and durations will be perceived as compliments. The way we see it, £1 for one month is a bigger thank you than bugger all.


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. And seven KC ‘features’ is bigger and better than bugger all, too. Not that I would have stripped out the ‘news’ features, either, they didn’t feel like any less valuable at the time of reading them. As somebody once said somewhere, never do yourself down when writing a self-assessment, there will be plenty of folks lining up to do just that for you.
    For anybody sitting on Patreon fence, so to speak, I would encourage you to get down and buy KC a pint, or a coffee, or whatever you’re having yourself.

    1. Cheers Chuck. Appreciate your vouchery, for want of an actual word.

      And yeah, while we were happy with several of the demoted features (most, if not all of them, actually), we like to look back through the features and feel like we’ve added to that part of the site, like any new visitor could look through and still read most of them.

      It’s just a feeling of building rather than treading water. But maybe it doesn’t really matter so much.

    2. Also, flip side of self assessment is that we’re only really answerable to ourself, so we do have to be realistic if we want to maintain or ideally improve standards around here.

  2. You’re doing fine, KC.

    Like most people who write on their own account (I put myself into that category), you have one of the worst bosses in the world.

    Don’t listen to that boss all the time. Sometimes you need to stick it to the man…even when you’re that man.

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