In the latest of Pitch Publishing's virtual cricket talks author Jonathan Rice joined BBC cricket reporter and commentator Mark Church to talk about his book The Stories of Cricket's Finest Painting.

If you were unable to join us for the live talk and question-and-answer session, then you can watch it again by clicking here

The Stories of Cricket's Finest PaintingKent v Lancashire 1906 tells the story of a remarkable painting, commissioned at the height of cricket's golden age and at the apogee of Britain's colonial power.

The man whose idea it was, the fourth Lord Harris, chairman of Kent County Cricket Club, was no aesthete; but in asking Albert Chevallier Tayler, a cricket-loving painter, to paint a scene from Kent's triumphant season, showing Colin Blythe bowling to Johnny Tyldesley, he helped create a masterpiece that changed the way we look at cricket.

The painting now hangs at Lord's, having been sold by Kent in 2006 for £600,000, then a record amount for a cricket painting. A full-size copy still hangs at Canterbury.

The book also follows the lives of the players and umpires portrayed in the painting, two of whom did not survive the Great War.

The painting may be timeless, but changes in the way cricket is played, administered and financed in Britain mean that many aspects of the game today would be unrecognisable to those sun-blessed men on the Canterbury turf over a century ago.

Jonathan Rice has written over 50 books, on subjects as varied as Japan, popular music and television sitcoms, but his specialist subject is cricket.

His Book of Pavilions won a William Hill Sports Book award, and Presidents of MCC was shortlisted for Sports Book Of The Year. For many years Jonathan wrote for Wisden Cricket Monthly. In 2018 he was president of Kent County Cricket Club.

Pitch's 2020/21 Winter Programme of Virtual Cricket Talks

The 2020/21 winter programme will include a mix of backlist and new books due out in spring 2021, with the talks taking place on Friday evenings at 7.30pm and expected to last up to 90 minutes; each will also include a question-and-answer session for attendees.

The links will be published on the day of each talk, and circulated to interested societies ahead of each event to share with members by email or on social media channels.

If you wish to learn more about the titles and authors, or purchase those books to read ahead of the talks, please click the links below for further information.

We will also be looking to launch a summer programme during the coming 2021 season.

2020/21 Winter Schedule

12th March 
Jonathan Rice, author of The Stories of Cricket's Finest Painting

19th March 
John Fuller, author of All Wickets Great and Small