CHASING SACHIN: The story of Sachin, a mad Italian Spiritualist, and me

21 Nov

Howdy you, and thanks for dropping by.

My book, Chasing Sachin, is in shops this week in the UK, and available to order around the world online. Exciting, eh? As a special treat, I’m giving away two free chapters of the book, to whet your appetite.

The first is the opening chapter of the book, and the second is the story of a very bizarre little incident that took place during the Lord’s Test, during the England vs India series of this summer.

As the title of this blog post teases, this free chapter involves me, a slightly odd man from Italy and our mutual pursuit of the great Sachin Tendulkar.

It also involves a fez, a lot of booze and…oh, I won’t spoil it for you. Click here to download chapter 1: Chasing Sachin – FREE CHAPTER Nov and the chapter to which this blog post refers: Chasing Sachin – FREE CHAPTER 2

If you like what you read and you’re in the UK, head to WH Smith: Thanks!

And if you’re in Australia, India, South Africa, New Zealand, Ireland etc etc, head here:

Happy reading!



A Step-by-Step Guide to Celebrating Sachin’s 100th Century

2 Nov

*** For more cricketing bafoonery like this, download TWO free chapters of my debut book – CHASING SACHIN, about one village cricketer’s (i.e. ME) attempt to bowl Sachin Tendulkar during last summer’s tour of England – here: Chasing Sachin – FREE CHAPTER and Chasing Sachin – FREE CHAPTER 2 ***

Oh dear. Poor old cricket is having a tough time of it at the moment, isn’t it?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or existing in some desolate, windswept and colourless wasteland, devoid of any modern telecommunications (or ‘Scotland’ as it’s more commonly known), you’ll know all about the spot fixing trial that threatens to shake cricket to it’s very foundations.

You’ll have heard that Mohammad Amir – one of the most prodigiously talented young quicks in the game, and owner of some of the must lustrous locks ever seen on an outfield – has effectively ended his career for, if whispers are to be believed, just a couple of thousand pounds.

That’s not even enough to buy you a seven-year-old Toyota Yaris with 100,000 miles on the clock (I checked). To say it’s a waste is an understatement. A bloody Toyota Yaris.

But enough other cricket scribblers will pore over the finer points of that case, and its ramifications. What I’m here to do, is remind you, dear reader, that its not all doom and gloom out there. There is light at the end of the tunnel. The game will survive. There are big things ahead.

And none bigger, if you ask me, than Sachin’s imminent 100th hundred. It’s coming. It’s going to be bloody brilliant. It’s going to be game-changing, in a rather more positive fashion than the events at Southwark are. It’s going to be so good, even Shiv Chanderpaul might crack a smile.

So here is my step-by-step guide on how to celebrate the moment when little Sachin, the Master Blaster, the Greatest – whatever you want to call him – finally makes history…whether you’re Indian, English, Australian, Pakistani, there are instructions here for you. Enjoy.


Come on. If you’re an Indian fan, you don’t need my help. You already know what to do. You need to book a week off work, hug everyone you’ve ever met and charge, screaming wildly, through the streets chanting the great man’s name. If you’re about to have a child, be it girl or boy, that kid needs to named after Sachin.

That much is obvious. But spare a thought for one man as you toast Sachin’s outrageously brilliant achievement. Poor old Rahul Dravid. He’s pretty special too. If you’re having twins, name the other one Rahul. It’s only fair.


Right, England fans, you have two options.

1. Toast Sachin’s feat as the near miracle it is, and doff your cap to the career of a man whose run-scoring abilities are unlikely to ever equalled. Contemplate uttering the phrase ‘flat sub-continent pitches’, but think better of it. Well done you.

2. Run down to the bookmakers and put £5 on Alistair Cook notching 150 international centuries. And £2 on Ravi Bopara becoming England captain in 2015. And a cheeky quid on Graeme Swann replacing Louis Walsh on the X-Factor. They’re all about the same odds. Apart from the last one, which will probably happen. He’s not really that keen on being a match-winning spinner anymore, is he?


These words will suffice when Sachin brings up his 100th hundred: “He’s good, but he’s no Bradman.” If you are a Shane Watson fan (i.e if you are actually Shane Watson himself), the phrase will be: “He’s good, but he’s no Watto.”


Start chanting “Brian Charles Lara.” Repeat ad infinitum.


Point out that while you are impressed with Sachin’s achievement, Jacques Kallis is better, and was also a world-class bowler, and can benchpress more, and has trendier (albeit shop-bought) hair.


What the hell are you doing watching cricket? You just won the Rugby World Cup. Milk that for a bit longer.


Just watch this. It’ll cheer you up.

Cheers! ADAM

*** For more cricketing bafoonery like this, download a free chapters of my debut book – CHASING SACHIN, about one village cricketer’s (i.e. ME) attempt to bowl Sachin Tendulkar during last summer’s tour of England – here: Chasing Sachin – FREE CHAPTER and Chasing Sachin – FREE CHAPTER 2 ***

*** Or to pre-order the book, head to WH Smith ***

Swanny – The Unpublished Chapters #1

26 Oct

*** For more cricketing bafoonery like this, download TWO free chapters of my debut book – CHASING SACHIN, about one village cricketer’s (i.e. ME) attempt to bowl Sachin Tendulkar during last summer’s tour of England – here: Chasing Sachin – FREE CHAPTER and Chasing Sachin – FREE CHAPTER 2***

Dear reader,

As I’m sure you will all be aware by now, loveable rogue  and ‘world’s best spinner’ (sic) Graeme Swann has taken a break from video-blogging and taking the p*ss out of Steven Finn on twitter for long enough to release his autobiography.

But while the criticism of KP’s captaincy and Swanny’s tale of Darren Gough punching him in a gents toilet both survived the editing process, I can now exclusively reveal that some rather more controversial segments were removed by his publishers.

And guess what? I’ve got my hands on them. Read on to find out what Swanny really thinks of Andrew Strauss, and more of his fellow England stars…



“I remember when I made my debut out in India in 2008 (when KP was captain – or should I say ‘captain’), and Straussy made a ton in both innings and we still lost.

I remember thinking at the time: ‘Bloody hell, well done Straussy.’ So I went up to him in the changing room after the game and said: ‘Bloody hell, well done Straussy’. Then I ‘de-bagged’ him in front of the lads! Classic! It was so bloody funny, I just yanked his trousers down and he was stood there in his underpants, looking like a right plum. Vintage English humour, that.

I looked round the room and everyone was laughing, including Straussy, who said it reminded him of being back at public school. I was only on debut, but I wanted to show what sort of madcap, crazy character I was (and still am).

It had worked a treat. A lot of the lads were telling me it was ‘top banter’ and even KP was trying to join in. He put his hand up to high-five me, but I pretended I had something in my eye and left him hanging. Brilliant!

From that moment on, Straussy and I were close, but things changed after he got the captaincy (I forget who he got it from – oh yeah, KP, ha!).

I remember Straussy gathered us for a team talk after we’d been knocked over for 51 in the second innings of the 1st Test at Sabina Park against the West Indies. It was his first Test in charge of the side and bloody hell, it was a fraught changing room. We’d been thrashed and you could have cut the atmosphere with a knife. It was more intense than a boy scout on a camping trip. (Geddit? Intense – in tents? Classic!)

Straussy looked livid. He was telling us in no uncertain terms that what he’d just witnessed was inexcusable. I felt a bit smug because I hadn’t played, so really, this shambles was nothing to do with me, but I paid attention out of respect for the way Straussy had taken the de-bagging I’d given him in India.

But still, the mood was dark. I looked around at the lads faces as they took their telling-off. Not a smiling face among them. Belly looked like he was going to burst into tears when Straussy told him he’d shot more impressive things than him while out hunting. It was very downcast.

Suddenly, a brilliant idea flashed into my head; the sort of idea that transforms a depressed, defeated dressing room into a place of positivity and sunshine again. This was my moment to turn these collection of frowns upside down.

I leapt from my seat and charged towards Straussy and in one fluid motion, tore his trousers down to the floor, and burst out into hysterical laughter. I’d done it again! Vintage. Classic. Swanny at his best, that is.

Well, to my surprise, you could have heard a pin drop. The lads were all staring at me, with their mouths wide open in shock. I could tell they were loving it (how could they not), but they just couldn’t believe I’d pulled off such an awesome prank at such a serious and dramatic moment.

Some of them were shaking their heads, as if to say ‘Swanny, you legend, I can’t believe you, you bloody legend!’ Cooky looked like he was about to cry, either with laughter or downright jealousy that I’d managed to get Straussy down to his pants. Either way…brilliant.

But Straussy was a changed man. He wasn’t laughing. In fact, he was scowling. He looked absolutely bloody furious. ‘Chill out Straussy!’ I shouted, and put my hand up for a high five. ‘High five!’ I shouted, in my best Borat voice. But just like I’d left KP hanging in India, so Straussy left me hanging. My hand seemed to hang their, limply, for hours.

From that moment on, my relationship with Straussy changed. No more public de-bagging, he said, especially during team meetings. No more whipping him with my towel. No more giving him a dead arm just as he goes out to bat. No more scaring Alistair Cook with scary stories.

This was a man to be respected. This was a man who could turn England into the best Test team in the world. And this was also a man that would confiscate my sweets and make me sit on the naughty step if I misbehaved. I knew where I stood, but something was bothering me.

‘But Straussy,’ I said to him as we made our way back to the hotel in Kingston, ‘I love pranks. I love de-bagging people. I need an outlet. If I don’t pull somebody’s trousers down in that changing room, I’m going to go crackers. Don’t fence me in.’

‘Well Swanny,’ he said, with a smile, ‘that’s what Ian Bell is here for’.

We shook hands, and never spoke of the incident again. Straussy still laughs whenever I get Belly these days. That’s why he’s a proper captain. And that’s why I love him.”

*** For more cricketing bafoonery like this, download TWO free chapters of my debut book – CHASING SACHIN, about one village cricketer’s (i.e. ME) attempt to bowl Sachin Tendulkar during last summer’s tour of England – here: Chasing Sachin – FREE CHAPTER and Chasing Sachin – FREE CHAPTER 2***

Or to pre-order the book, head to WH Smith

Obviously, these chapters from Swanny’s book are totally unofficial and just a joke. Not real. His real book is very good. Go and buy it.


India vs England – Dhoni has Cook scared silly

24 Oct

Cricket is a bit silly. There, I said it. It’s out there.

Yes, it’s wonderful and intriguing and it confuses the shit out of American people, but ultimately, it’s bloody silly.

Not that ‘being silly’ is a bad thing. John Cleese is very silly. So is Sreesanth, and who doesn’t love them? I certainly do. I often think Sreesanth would have made a good seventh member of Monty Python. He’s certainly funnier than Eric Idle.

Silliness is an intrinsic part of cricket. Forget field placings, batting orders, bowling attacks and selection committees, the best teams and the best individuals all have a silly streak.

All the true legends of the game are capable – either as a player or an individual – of doing something completely fucking bonkers, and it’s through these moments of genuine ‘whatthefuckdidhejustdo?’ that they inspire others and create their own legacy.

Nowhere is that truer than in the limited overs arena, and it’s England’s lack of a person capable of genuinely silly deeds (Jade Dernbach doesn’t count as silly, although his tattoos arguably fall into the category of ‘flippin’ stupid’) that is leaving them lagging behind India in this ODI series.

And it all stems from the two captains.

On the one hand, school prefect and (probable) collector of pressed flowers, Alistair Cook. He’s not a silly sort of bloke, and nor has he ever done anything on a cricket field that might ever be labelled as such.

He’s never going to slog three sixes in an innings, never mind in consecutive balls. He’s not going to – either as a captain or an individual – ever do much that will make punters or commentators sit open-mouthed in bemusement and awe. He’s just not an inspirational bloke. The 766 runs in Oz were incredible and I love him for it. It was magnificent. But I can’t remember with clarity a single stand-out shot from that mega haul in Australia. He’s a run-making machine. He’s England’s present and future. He’s just not MS Dhoni.

Ah, MS Dhoni. He used to have long hair. He slogs, and slogs hard. He’s a wicketkeeper, which instantly makes him cool. He could probably smash a stump over his forehead and split it clean in two. I’d be willing to bet he’d probably even win a fight versus a Grizzly Bear, and then nurse it back to health after he’d punched it’s light out.

And that’s without even mentioning that he won the World Cup with a fucking SIX! Alistair Cook would have won it with six singles, or an inside edged four down to fine leg.

Face the facts: MS Dhoni is a silly cricketer. No, more than that, he’s a bloody RIDICULOUS, once-in-a-generation cricketer. And that’s why people love him. That’s why people respond to him as a player. And that, most importantly, is why his players respond to him as a captain. He is capable of producing something out of the ordinary.

The summer’s failure against England is looking increasingly far away for a rejuvenated Indian side. For England, Andrew Strauss’ calm composure works in the Test arena. But in the hit-or-miss world of limited overs cricket, unpredictability is needed. Silliness is needed. Alistair Cook stars in a British advert for bottled water. It’s a shit ad. Dhoni took the mickey out of himself in an advert for Pepsi. Therein lies the rub.

So, either Alistair Cook captains the final ODI wearing a fez and comedy glasses, or they should give the captaincy to Swanny. Either way, England fans need cheering up. Craig Kieswetter’s impression of a clown behind the stumps just isn’t enough anymore.


Oh, and don’t forget, you can download TWO FREE chapters of my debut book ‘Chasing Sachin’ – about my summer spent trying to convince Sachin Tendulkar to let me bowl just ONE ball at him – published by Pitch Publishing, home to Jarrod Kimber and David Tossell, from here: Chasing Sachin – FREE CHAPTER and Chasing Sachin – FREE CHAPTER 2

And ‘Chasing Sachin’ is available to order NOW at WH Smith

A free chapter to whet your appetite…

22 Oct

Hello! My name is Adam Carroll-Smith and that picture up there is of the front cover of my first book. Looks nice doesn’t it? Not as nice as you do today (that top is a great look, by the way), but still: pretty NICE.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by to download TWO free chapters of my book, ‘Chasing Sachin’, about my summer spent trying to bowl just one ball at the great Sachin Tendulkar.

It’s an often silly but hopefully uplifting story of obsession, disorganisation, booze, laughter and love. Oh, and cricket. And occasionally, about me imagining if there is anything better in life than attending a party held by Chris Gayle that Shane Watson hasn’t been invited to.

I hope you enjoy this little slice of my book, and if you feel the urge to read more, head to

Anyway – here is your link to download…happy reading! Chasing Sachin – FREE CHAPTER and Chasing Sachin – FREE CHAPTER 2