But what has the Patreon crowdfunding campaign ever done for King Cricket?

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We’re pretty happy with the last year’s Patreon-funded output. Hopefully our crowdfunding campaign doesn’t completely implode in 2023.

A very quick recap. We run a Patreon campaign where readers can, if they want, pledge a monthly sum to help support the site.

You can pretty much pledge whatever you want for as long as you want. If you want to give us £1 for one month, we’ll actually be very, very happy with that. In a world where none of us can be bothered to do stuff, going out of your way to send us a quid feels like an actively appreciative act.

And if you want to pledge £2,000 a month. You know, um, magic. (This is a joke. Don’t pledge £2,000. That would be weird. Also if you accidentally stick a load of extra zeros on your monthly pledge because you were pledging when drunk, let us know and we’ll pay you back.)

You can find more details on the ins and outs of the Patreon campaign here. One key detail that is worth emphasising is that King Cricket is entirely free, whether you pledge a monthly sum or not. All that happens is the more of you who pledge, the more we’re able to do with the site.

What we’ve been able to do with the site

Due to the fundamental hollowness of running a crowdfunder where the crowd doesn’t obviously get anything that it wasn’t getting anyway, we’ve always made a point of using our Patreon-funded time to try and do features. These are the longer, less time-sensitive pieces that simply wouldn’t happen without the monthly contributions from our readership.

Below you’ll find a selection of the features we’ve done over the last 12 months and a few thoughts about each – both about the piece itself but also its relationship to the crowdfunder.

We thought it was worth highlighting them again. Maybe there’s one or two you missed.

Fast bowling: County cricket’s diesels and the unprepared Test batters they create

This one was kind of newsy, in that it was a response to England’s crappy Ashes campaign, but England’s difficulties producing fast bowlers is also a longstanding issue. It’s the kind of subject we allude to a lot in passing, but sometimes it’s good to actually cover a topic properly, all in one place. It seems like this was one of those occasions as we’ve linked back to it plenty of times since.

Tail-end tons: Who is the worst batter to have hit exactly one Test hundred?

We love writing about tail-enders as it’s one of cricket’s unique aspects – people who are crap at something being forced to do it at elite level. This one’s basically about people who are crap at something being inexplicably successful at that thing, which is interesting and amusing to us in so many ways.

Shane Warne: The greatest foe

This one was not fun to write in that the reason for doing so was so sad. At the same time, it was incredibly fun to write because we always learn something about cricket and why we love it when we get a chance to stop and think about the players who’ve affected us the most. And Warne really was among the biggest presences we can think of.

Separate teams? What might a world of cricket format specialists actually look like?

Like the one about county diesels above, this is of its moment to some extent, but also an ongoing thing – and again something we talk about until we bore the arse off ourself. Having an article on the site where we looked at the schedule for top players and how they have to manage it means we don’t have to repeat ourself quite so much, which is surely good news for everyone.

This is the way the county cricket season begins, not with a bang – and we’re happy with that

This one’s similar, but it’s also a celebration of a thing that many regard as a weakness – the slow burn nature of county cricket. This is far from the only piece we’ve done celebrating the appeal of slow burn entertainment. We also republished The ‘Test cricket doesn’t fit into modern life’ fallacy later in the year, which is one of the King Cricket pieces of which we’re most proud.

Five Test wicketkeepers who quite often didn’t actually do any wicketkeeping

Some of these have no great insight underpinning them. They’re often borne of something that slightly irritates us (people thinking Kumar Sangakkara always kept wicket) before heading off to explore that.

What Jonny Bairstow’s Kingsman church scene innings tells us about the ‘throwing off the shackles’ cliché

We felt like this was a chance to write about a couple of things that would remain interesting even once they’d ceased being newsworthy. These things were Jonny Bairstow’s bonkers innings and the dumb simpleton comments that pundits sometimes make about ‘freeing up’ batters with seemingly zero understanding of how that might be achieved.

We also got to write about the Kingsman church scene, which is a good example of the kind of thing we definitely couldn’t do if we’d tried to pitch this piece to another publication. Plenty of these features simply couldn’t be published anywhere else, but even the ones that could would be written in a very different way if they were sold to someone else. We are eternally grateful to our patrons for giving us the chance to write them the way we want to write them. That freedom will unavoidably bring a few missteps along the way, but personally we think that’s a price worth paying if you end up with something quirkier and more interesting every now and again. An awful lot of our favourite sentences and paragraphs on King Cricket are ones that would have been cut for a mainstream outlet.

Eoin Morgan – the captain who ignored everyone and gave England ambition

This one – basically a potted history of the Morgan era – is almost exactly the opposite of what we’ve just described. It’s mainstream and obvious. Even so, we probably wouldn’t have written it if it weren’t for the crowdfunder because the likely freelance fee wouldn’t really have covered the time spent pitching and writing it. Taking pitching out of that equation meant it instantly became more viable.

Where are Jason Roy’s foundations? Do white ball specialists need more time in the middle?

Again, news-ish, but only really as a jumping-off point for a broader point. It’s also hard to imagine anyone else letting us spend the first third of an article talking about speed skating training.

Hot streaks: Test batters who hit a prolonged purple patch

We’ve mixed feelings about this one actually, because it doesn’t, to us, feel like a King Cricket feature. It’s just a bit too straightforward. Sometimes we’ve got an idea to explore and we kind of just want to see what it throws up as there’s usually something unexpected. This is probably an example of that and maybe it didn’t work out exactly as we’d hoped.

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

Last week’s piece was more ‘on brand’ we reckon. It may be a bit vague and ill-defined (just generally about ducks) but we quite like having that room to manoeuvre as it means we can veer towards whatever happens to draw our interest (which is quite often Ajit Agarkar).

The year ahead

We probably don’t publish King Cricket articles quite as often as we once did (certainly back in the early days when we’d actively try and keep our posts to just a paragraph or two because blogging back then was a lot more like Twitter). We’d like to think that the overall standard is better though – in large part because the Patreon campaign makes longer pieces more viable.

Not every feature will work for everyone. Sometimes you may feel like we’ve travelled further down a road you never wanted to turn down in the first place. Hopefully that’s offset by the articles you do like though. And hopefully you feel like these are the kinds of articles you couldn’t find anywhere else.

All of these pieces take time. The Patreon campaign quite literally buys us that.


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  1. “Not every feature will work for everyone. Sometimes you may feel like we’ve travelled further down a road you never wanted to turn down in the first place. Hopefully that’s offset by the articles you do like though.”

    Spot on. Almost exclusively good stuff, KC, do keep going!

    Meanwhile, in other news, it’s great to see reports on that evergreen youthful right arm fast-medium bowler Anderson taking a fivefer in a winning cause for England today. No, not Jimmy. Ellie:


  2. For the price of one beer in my downtown per month, I moderately raise the chance of another feature as glorious as “Danish Kaneria or Dane Vilas – Who is Most Danish?” and frankly I think I’m saving money.

    1. We’ve written a lot above about pieces that could or couldn’t have been published elsewhere.

      1. They are all pieces we wouldn’t find elsewhere because you have your own voice. The question about whether they could be published elsewhere is partly down to the policy of publishers out there and partly down to your choice of quirky topics.

        I’d guess that some 50% couldn’t possibly be published elsewhere due to their quirk-quotient, 35%-40% of the pieces could have been placed elsewhere but the piece would have had the charm edited out of it, while only 10%-15% could conceivably have been placed more or less “as is” if you tried hard enough to place stuff.

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