[link to Bob’s Writer’s Choice entry]
Probably not many of Norm’s fans and friends shared the full range of his enthusiasms. I didn’t share his fondness for film or jazz or country music, but I did share his interest in certain political matters and his passion for cricket (“one of the most sublime creations of the human spirit” in Norm’s words). The first time I contacted him (in 2005) I praised his blog for its political content but also complained mildly about the amount of publicity given to Australian cricketers. However, I conceded that some of them were in fact rather good. He in turn agreed that there were one or two decent English cricketers and that they perhaps deserved some more attention. A bit later he invited me to contribute a piece to his Memories of Cricket series, which I did in October 2006. I then contributed another, and another, and in the end I provided nearly as many as Norm. He always seemed pleased to have them (and they weren’t all about English successes and Australian failures). I was also able to provide a team of food-related cricketers as a follow up Norm’s teams of philosophers and literary figures.