Interview with Rick Eyre

rick-eyre_cricket-blog_interview_www.bettingrunner.com
by Bettingrunner on 01 April 2016

Hello Rick, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I live in Sydney, Australia, and have a teenage daughter. I have been working in web production and with advocacy groups in recent years. Before that I was one of the group of people that built Cricinfo into the world’s leading cricket information website, and was one of the staff for three years. I have been a cricket fan for more than 45 years, but I did not play the game very well.

How did your cricket blog start?
My website actually began back in 1994 as a list of cricket links and resources but it wasn’t until ten years later (and after I had left Cricinfo) when self-published blogs became a thing that the writing side of things took off. A very exciting Ashes series of 2005 gave things a real boost!

Who are the main contributors?
There are no other contributors. It’s all me, hence the name of the website.

What makes your blog different from other cricket blogs?
I don’t do match reports or fan pieces. My main interests on the blog are in the politics of the sport, the business and the future directions of the game. I use Twitter for most of my day-to-day chat and opinion about cricket these days.

How was your experience as an editor in Cricinfo?
That was a long time ago now, 14 years in fact, and Cricinfo was a much different place to the huge branch of the ESPN empire that it is today. When I say “editor” that often included being writer, curator, sub-editor as well. There was no office as such; we functioned mostly as an online collaboration using an IRC chat room as our main means of communication. There weren’t many of us, and because I didn’t come from a journalistic background it was quite a learn-as-you-go experience. Lots of fun and I am very proud of what we achieved in those early days.

What are some challenges you face?
In some ways, Twitter has cannibalised my capacity to write longer pieces, being more concise and more immediate. Finding the time to write and research blogs and articles in my spare time is difficult. I’d love to do commissioned work for others but there are few out there with the capacity to pay for it.

Let’s talk about cricket. Who is the greatest cricket player of all times?
I doubt that there has ever been a better batsman than Don Bradman. So far superior to his peers and I think he would have been the greatest in any era. Bowlers? So many… but Shane Warne was a brilliant spin bowler and tactically very clever with it.

In your opinion, why did Australia miss the T20 World Cup trophy this year?
At a national level, Australia puts more emphasis on Test and one-day cricket, and I think we’ve had trouble striking the right combination in T20s. In India, we probably needed another spinner, Nathan Lyon most likely, and should have left David Warner at the top of the batting order. We need specialist T20 coaches as well these days.

Apart from cricket, what are your other passions?
I am into other sports as well, especially rugby league, also Australian rules, baseball and (field) hockey. I have another online project on the backburner dealing with corporate social responsibility in sport, and hopefully I can get the time to bring that to light of day in the next year or so.
Follow him on Twitter @rickeyrecricket

 

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