Anna Krien does that work now. She goes to places, finds things out, and writes about them. At great length and with cool intelligence. Here, she's launched into a story that never goes away, has been covered extensively, but rarely with nuance.
Elite sport and sexual assault.
Night Games reminds me of a piece I read many years ago in the now defunct Times on Sunday. A couple of female journos accompanied the Australian cricket team through a domestic tour and wrote about what happened on that tour, but off the field.
It was only feature length, say two thousand words, but it went off like a bomb. There were no allegations of rape, but you were left with the very clear impression that the Aussies thought of their female followers, who were legion, as nothing more than convenient holes.
Example? Two senior players met in the lift riding down to the foyer of their hotel. The girls they'd spent the night with rode down in the same elevator. The men ignored them, until one turned to the other and said, "Jeez, yours was a bit ugly wasn't she?"
His mate replied, "I was only going for the crease."
The Windies, by way of contrast, were more succesful with the ladies, possibly because they treated them well. The Poms just drank heavily. Very, very heavily.
Anyway, Krien has done the hard yards for this book.
It should be The First Stone for a new generation.
The extract is below. I've decided to run the book extracts on Sundays because it's more likely people will have the time to read them at their liesure on the weekend.