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Second Innings: On Men, Mental Health and Cricket

Written by Barry Nicholls


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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' 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.


‘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

ISBN 9781925816440 (Paperback)
Formats B+ Format (208 x 140mm) (Paperback)
Categories Father's Day 2021
New Releases
Autobiography, Biography & Memoir
Sport, Travel & Entertainment
Publisher Fremantle Press
Edition 1st
Publication Year 2021
Pages 192
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    Barry Nicholls

    A former A-grade district cricketer and schoolteacher, Barry Nicholls has written about cricket for decades and is a broadcaster with the ABC, where he has worked since 2003. After 25 years of playing cricket he now enjoys spending his weekends watching his children embrace the challenges and pleasures of participating in sport. Barry lives in Perth with his partner, Ann, and their four children, and has learned a bit about second chances in life. Read more