Second Innings: On Men, Mental Health and Cricket
Life is like facing an opening bowler: the pitch is unknown, the ball is new and you don’t know what will be delivered.
A reflection on Barry Nicholls’s life, Second Innings explores the author’s struggle with mental health and the road to recovery, using his love of the game of cricket to make sense of it all. Set partly in the present, Second Innings includes flashbacks through five decades of life and focuses particularly on the lives of the men across the generations of Barry Nicholls’ own family, and tells the story of Barry’s journey from teacher to print journalist to broadcaster.
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK
‘Cricket forms the bedrock of Barry Nicholls’s life journey, weaving through this evocative memoir. A powerful and engrossing witnessing of personal and family mental health experiences, Barry writes candidly about taboo themes with meaning, connection, understanding and love.’ Dr Mark Cross, author of Anxiety: Expert Advice from a Neurotic Shrink Who’s Lived with It All His Life
‘Barry Nicholls weaves his life story in and out of cricketing history and reveals his own mental health struggles and those of his family. The title contains the vital message of hope – there is always next week and even next season. And it is always possible to find a good coach and learn some new skills.’ Patrick McGorry, AO, Professor of Youth Mental Health, University of Melbourne
‘… it’s a heartfelt reminder that, as Nicholls writes, “in life there is always a second innings”.’ West Australian
‘Make no mistake, Second Innings is a frank and fearless book deserving a wide readership, particularly by men and the families of men suffering with depression and anxiety.’ The Newtown Review of Books
‘Despite the dark subject-matter, offering an insight into the profoundest depths of his personal battles, the author’s assured writing style means that it is never a difficult read.’ Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians
‘Simply telling his story, and showing the possibilities of emerging from the darkness, is probably the most effective way for Nicholls to go in to bat for other men who might be struggling to articulate their experience and reach out for help. How could any batsman play finer innings than that?’ On the Shelf