Authors XI Cricket Team

The Authors are one of the world’s oldest wandering cricket sides. Emerging from the Authors’ Club, founded in 1891 by Walter Besant as a place for writers to meet and talk, The Authors were revived in 2012 and since then have played around the world.  Their book, The Authors XI: A Season of English Cricket from Hackney to Hambledon, was shortlisted for the MCC Cricket Society book of the year award in 2014.

Authors’ XI Cricket Team Members


Richard Beard’s six novels include Lazarus is Dead, Dry Bones and Damascus, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His most recent novel Acts of the Assassins was shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize, and he is the author of the 2017 memoir The Day That Went Missing. Formerly Director of The National Academy of Writing in London, he is a Visiting Professor at the University of Tokyo, and has a Creative Writing Fellowship at the University of East Anglia. 

Will Burns is Poet-in-Residence at Caught by the River and was named as one of the 4 Faber & Faber New Poets for 2014 with his pamphlet in that series published in October 2014.  Will lists in his biography that he has worked in factories, painted houses, cleaned windows, worked in the best record shop in the world and likes sports and ornithology. 

Charlie Campbell is captain of the Authors Cricket Club. He has led this team of writers in well over a hundred consecutive games.  He is the author of Scapegoat: A History of Blaming Other People and, most recently, Herding Cats: The Art of Amateur Cricket Captaincy. Off the pitch he is a literary agent.

Sebastian Faulks worked as a journalist before becoming a full-time writer. His French trilogy - The Girl at the Lion d'Or, Birdsong and Charlotte Gray (1989-1997) - established him in the front rank of British novelists. UK sales of Birdsong exceed 2,500,000 copies. Charlotte Gray has also sold over a million copies and was filmed with Cate Blanchett in the main part. His later novels include A Possible Life, Human Traces, On Green Dolphin Street, Engleby, A Week in December and, most recently, Where My Heart Used to Beat. His next novel, Paris Echo, is published in September 2018.

William Fiennes is the bestselling author of The Snow Geese and The Music Room. The Snow Geese, published to wide acclaim in 2002, won the Hawthornden Prize and the Somerset Maugham Award. On publication in 2009, The Music Room was called  “a beautiful and fortifying book, even a great one” (Daily Telegraph).  William is co-founder of the charity First Story, which supports creativity and literacy in challenging secondary schools, is an Honorary Vice-President of Epilepsy Action and teaches at Newcastle University.  William Fiennes was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2009.

Peter Frankopan is Professor of Global History at Oxford University and Scaliger Visiting Professor at Leiden University. His most recent book, The Silk Roads: A New History of the World, is an international bestseller that has topped Non-Fiction charts in the UK, India, China and around the world. It was hailed by the Berliner Zeitung as ‘not only the most important history book in years, but the most important in decades.’ Peter is also the current All England Single Wicket Cricket Champion.

Nicholas Hogg was nominated for the IMPAC literary award for his début novel, Show Me the Sky. Winner of the New Writing Ventures prize for fiction, and numerous short story contests, his work has also been broadcast by the BBC. His acclaimed third novel, Tokyo, is out now, and Danny Love, his forthcoming novel, is due for release in 2018. He has written on cricket for Wisden, ESPN, The Independent, and the MCC, and is a founder of the revived Authors Cricket Club.

Tom Holland is the best-selling author of Rubicon, which won the Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize, Persian Fire, Millennium, In the Shadow of the Sword and, most recently, Dynasty. His translation of Herodotus' Histories was published by Penguin Classics and a history of Æthelstan was published last year under the Penguin Monarchs series. He has adapted Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides and Virgil for the BBC. He is the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Making History and has written and presented a number of TV documentaries, on subjects ranging from Islam to dinosaurs.

Jon Hotten is the author of five books, including Muscle and The Years of the Locust, and writes the popular cricket blog The Old Batsman. He co-wrote the award-winning documentary Death of a Gentleman, and his collaboration with the former England bowler Simon Jones, The Test, won the Wisden Almanack's Book of the Year award in 2016. His latest book is The Meaning of Cricket (Yellow Jersey).

Anthony McGowan is the author of two literary thrillers, Stag Hunt and Mortal Coil, and numerous highly acclaimed young adult novels, including Hellbent, Henry Tumour, The Knife That Killed Me (made into film in 2014), The Fall, Brock, Hello Darkness and Pike.  He has also written widely for younger children, including the best-selling Donut Diaries series. He had four new books out in 2017: Everybody Hurts, a young adult novel co-written with Jo Nadin; a picture book, I Killed Santa, illustrated by Chris Riddell; Rook, the conclusion of a trilogy with Brock and Pike, and The Art of Failing, described  as ‘… eccentric, charming, maddening, and very, very funny”.

Alex Preston is the author of three novels. His first, This Bleeding City, won the Spear’s and Edinburgh Festival first book prizes and is published in twelve languages. The Revelations was shortlisted for the Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize and In Love and War was selected for BBC Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime. Alex appears regularly on BBC Radio and television. He writes for GQ, Harper’s Bazaar and Town & Country Magazine as well as for the Observer’s New Review. He holds a PhD on Violence in the Modern Novel from UCL and teaches Creative Writing at the University of Kent. His most recent book, As Kingfishers Catch Fire: Birds and Books, is an illustrated and visually stunning exploration of birds in literature, from Ovid to Ted Hughes.

Matt Thacker is managing editor of Wisden Cricket Monthly and The Nightwatchman, the Wisden Cricket Quarterly. He founded All Out Cricket magazine in 2002 and is managing director of TriNorth, a sports communications agency that provides content for a number of national and international sports governing bodies. He commissions authors from all round the world to write about cricket.