We spoke to Daniel Whiting, author of The Definitive Guide to Club Cricket.

The book has reached number one on cricket kindles from Amazon since its release in July this year and a portion of the profits are being donated to Melanoma UK.

Tell me about the book

The Definitive Guide to Club Cricket is an in-depth look at some of the idiosyncratic characters that are in most, if not all of the 15,000 cricket clubs across the UK. It is written in a satirical fashion and has a foreword by Yorkshire opening bowler Jack Brooks.

It has been at number one on Amazon Cricket books recently. This is the first book that I have done that has been self-published. The cover of the book is the Walker Cricket Ground in Southgate.

What is your background in cricket, has it always been an interest or has it been a profession?

My real job is working in legal recruitment but I’ve been involved in cricket virtually all of my life.

I’m chairman of Southgate Adelaide Cricket Club in Waterfall Road, London N14 and recently retired from playing, having played there for more than 30 years. A few years ago I started a blog called The Middle Stump, which has 14k followers now @themiddlestump on Twitter - including many cricketers, county chairmen, journalists, TV presenters, musicians and actors - and this has led to a publishing contract, along with regular features in The Cricket Paper, which is the largest selling cricket paper in the UK.

I try and write in an original style and one that injects a bit of humour into what can be a slow game at times. One wag described me as, ‘The Master of Metaphorical Mirth’. I also do some commentary for Guerilla Cricket and have taken a stage show called Pushing the Boundaries around the UK, interviewing cricketers and raising a few quid for Melanoma UK.

I’m currently working on another cricket project which I’m trying to get out before Christmas. You could say I’m immersed in the game.

What made you want to write the book?

I needed to get it out there. It’s a lifetime's work in that these characters I have written about have always been around me for 30/40 years, although I wrote the book in just under a year.

I did get stuck for a few months and couldn’t write anything but it flowed once the season started again last April. I’m not going to be so pretentious as to say it is an anthropological assessment of club cricketers but it is an anthropological assessment of club cricketers.

The book is based on people that I have played with and against over a lifetime in club cricket. Somerset CCC chairman Andy Nash tweeted that it would make a great stocking filler for Christmas and one comedian responded with “Stocking Filler? I was going to get it for the wife for her birthday”.

Have you written books before?

This is my third book. The other two were via The History Press but this is self-published. Cricket Banter was published in April 2013 and also reached number one in the Amazon cricket charts. Characters of Cricket was released in March 2015.

How has the book been received?

I’m flattered and overwhelmed by the response. On Amazon there are reviews of people saying that this is the best book that I have written to date although I'm not sure about that. 

I think one of the reasons why it has gone down well is that people identify with the characters involved and have asked me if I have written it about their club, despite them being based in the West Country for instance or Yorkshire. Every club no doubt has a bent umpire, a weird scorer, a boring AGM, a fat wicket keeper, a bloke who drinks too much at the bar or a boring blocking batsman. I think people have identified with it and linked it to their own cricket club.

Do you have more books in the pipeline?

There will be one but at present I could do with a rest. This summer I have been churning out 1,300 words a week in a column in The Cricket Paper along with a 50,000 word book. I liken writing to having a virus. You have this bug inside you that needs to get out and then you vomit out 50,000 words or so. Afterwards you have a period of having nothing left creatively and I’m in that recuperation period currently. Saying that, I am writing something currently which is more television orientated so watch this space.

How old are you?

46. Raised in East Barnet.

Anything to add?

A portion of the proceeds of royalties will be donated to Melanoma UK, a charity that educates and works with many cricketers regarding being outdoors all summer and exposed to prolonged sunshine.

The Definitive Guide to Club Cricket is self-published and available from Amazon.