Stick Cricket, the world’s most popular online cricket game and cricket’s second biggest website, announces the signing of former Guardian journalist Rob Smyth. The new partnership will see Rob writing a wide variety of content for SPIN magazine and, from interviews with the game’s big hitters to features, blogs and comment, all delivered in his inimitable, irreverent style. Rob combines expert knowledge of the game with a witty, down-to-earth approach that will appeal to the millions of people who play Stick Cricket around the world.

Stick Cricket is an Internet phenomenon, with over one million young male professionals logging onto the site every week to play a range of fun, free-to-play cricket games, get the latest cricket news, and take part in online polls and banter. Companies who advertise on the site, such as Microsoft, KFC, Pepsi, Intel and Marston’s can therefore target their marketing to the key demographic of 18 – 30 year old men with disposable income.

Rob Smyth cut his commentator’s teeth with a spell on the Channel 4 website in 2000 before moving to the Guardian Unlimited website in 2004, where he was part of the legendary Over-by-over (OBO) commentary team. He’s also the co-author of Is It Cowardly To Pray For Rain?, a collection of all the OBOs from the Ashes series of 2005. Rob has also written for GQ Style, The Economist’s quarterly supplement Intelligent Life and the Manchester United fanzine Red Issue.

“Rob has an encyclopaedic knowledge of cricket coupled with a man-in-the-pub style of writing, which we know will appeal to the millions of people around the world who visit,” declared Chris Berry, Director’s parent company Stick Sports. “Frankly, traditional cricket journalism is often dull, stuffy and aimed at the MCC blazers dozing in the stands at Lord’s. The young male professionals who visit will be bowled over by Rob’s approach to the game – often fast and fun, but always intelligent and in-depth.”

Rob Smyth said: “What’s great about working for Stick Cricket is the wide range of writing I’ll be doing – anything from interviews and features to blogs and sidebars. The site’s users know their cricket, so the coverage has to be in-depth and light-hearted at the same time. The real challenge will be to cater for the site’s worldwide audience and to meet this we are expanding the OBO coverage this winter to take in one of sports fiercest contests – the test series between Pakistan and India.”

Rob admits that although he enjoys playing Stick Cricket, he’s not much better at it than he is at real-life cricket. “Even after years of playing the game – when I should have been working, I might add – I still struggle with the spinners.”