When I was young I wrote alternate Shirley Temple scripts. My mum always assumed from then on I would become a writer. I kind of assumed I would become a serial killer. I chose writer, even though it probably pays less.
To get to be a writer I did somethings.
I was politely told that I should consider leaving highschool, so I did. Then I pushed shopping trolleys for a while. I did lots of jobs slightly, but not much, better than that including working for factories. For a time I worked for a cult (Brethren Society) that I was not a member of.
After something like 15/20 jobs my parents pressured their friends into finding me a job, and I worked in a Qantas call centre for 6 years. After being looked over for promotions due to my obvious disdain for the work, I did eventally work my way up as I was actually quite good at my job. A lifetime of sport had given me good geography skills, writing had made me a quick typer, and I was arrogant enough to get people off the phone quickly.
During this time I wrote three books, all would end up being lost. I also started a bunch of blogs. They were pretty terrible.
When I was promoted I found the next level job far easier, and much better. I also knew that if I kept doing it I would eventually kill myself. In fact, I knew that it was essentially a race between them closing down the call centre and me closing down the Jarrod Kimber.
So I enrolled in a writing class. In the end I decided that actually I’d prefer to study film, so I never went to the writing course. So I spent a whole year pissing about, doing some writing, short film courses and writing a feature script.
I did a year of film school, in which the main organiser hinted I’d never make it, and the main lecturer told me I wasn’t a writer. I never actually got the paperwork saying I passed, as I chucked a wobbly over my final product. But I started a film production company with some friends and spent the next year trying to make it as filmmakers.
Because we were varying degrees of unsuccessful, I had a lot of free time. A friend called Todd Spehr (buy his book on Drazen Petrovic) was getting into basketball writing, and wanted my advice on blogging, as I’d done a bit of blogging before. I gave him my advice, and then he turned around and said, “why aren’t you blogging on cricket”, and it turned out I had no real answer.
So I started cricket with balls, and soon it was doing better than my film company. Far better. Shockingly well. It was written in the voice of a character I had invented for a book, he was a cult terrorist leader. And people really liked that. I mean it was insane bullshit, with proper cricket analysis hidden behind pictures of Natalie Portman and more swearing than a fucken hatfull of arseholes.
Then I started to get offers of jobs in the UK for cricket writing, and I tried to get the same offers in Melbourne, but couldn’t even get a response. So I moved to the UK.
Since then things have gone pretty fucken batshit well.
I’ve covered cricket in India, Australia, New Zealand South Africa, England, Ireland, Hong Kong, and Sri Lanka. And also been to the UAE, US and Jamaica for other work.
In the last five years I’ve travelled the world covering Tests, a World Cup, two World T20s, shield cricket, big bash, IPL and women’s internationals. I’ve written four books, hosted a guardian masterclass and had my own radio show for a while. My favourite meal was a fish curry out of a massive cauldron in Eden Gardens . I was once choked (sort of accidentally) by a security guard at the WACA. Was called the “most hated man in cricket” by a powerful cricket administrator. And I’ve ghost-written sledges for a county cricketer.
Oh, and I made a film you can find on netflix.
Now I’m starting to write fiction and non cricket stuff.
Somehow I provided the cover photo of a P Diddy album, I use a Charlie French bat, bowl ineffectual legspin and live in South London with my family.
Thank you, Shirley.