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

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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, Where My Heart Used to Beat and, most recently, Paris Echo, 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 Stravros Niarchos Foundation Director of the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research and 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.

James Holland is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning historian, writer, and broadcaster. The author of a number of best-selling histories including Battle of Britain, Dam Busters, The War in the West, and most recently, Normandy 44, he has also written nine works of historical fiction. He has presented – and written – a large number of television programmes and series and has a weekly WWII podcast with the comedian, Al Murray, called We Have Ways of Making You Talk. He is also Chair of the Chalke Valley History Festival, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Fellow at the University of St Andrew’s

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, Dynasty and, most recently, Dominion. 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.  Hedgehog fancier. 

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).

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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, Pike and Rook.  He has also written widely for younger children, including the best-selling Donut Diaries series, a picture book, I Killed Santa, illustrated by Chris Riddell and The Art of Failing;  How to Teach Philosophy To Your Dog was published in 2019 and Lark, the conclusion of the quartet with Brock, Pike and Rook, won the prestigious CILIP Carnegie Medal in 2020.

David Owen spent 20 years with the Financial Times in a variety of posts in the US, Canada, France and the UK. His last FT role was as Sports Editor. Since 2006, David has operated as a freelance sportswriter and is recognised as a leading authority on the politics, business and history of the modern Olympic Movement.  His books include Foinavon: the story of the Grand National's biggest upset, winner of the 2013 Dr Tony Ryan Book Award

Alex Preston is the prize-winning author of three novels, including In Love and Ware, and the best-selling book about birds in literature, As Kingfishers Catch Fire.  Alex appears regularly on radio and television and writes for a range of papers and magazines.  He holds and PhD on Violence in The Modern Novel from UCL.  Alex nurtures a deep and abiding love of Greece and Corfu.  His work is published in Greek by Papadopoulos Publishing and Alex has written a regular monthly column for Epsilon Magazine in Athens. 

Adam Rutherford is a geneticist, writer and broadcaster. He presents BBC Radio 4’s Inside Science, and the Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry. He is the author of five books about evolution, genetics and history, most recently the bestselling ‘How to Argue With a Racist’ which is neither controversial nor pugnacious and anyone who disagrees can fight me. 

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.