They said it could never happen.
They said such a national treasure would never be allowed to fall into China’s insatiable grasping clutches.
And anyway, they said, what could China possibly want with the spiritual home of the game of cricket?
Retribution, said some. Lord’s Cricket Ground owes its eighteenth century origins to fortunes made from getting the Chinese hooked on opium and now it’s payback time.
Nonsense, said China. We’re just extending a helping hand to a western cultural icon in a financial fix. Honest.
Smelling a sizeable rat in China’s assurances, the fraternity of world cricket starts digging.
What it unearths is enough to shake western civilisation to its roots.
With England’s hosting of the Cricket World Cup just a year away and China looking set to take control of Lord’s, Beijing’s motives for taking an interest in the ground are not only not honourable, it discovers, they’re simply not cricket
Cometh the Yuan is available in both paperback and ebook formats.
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"An intricate and colourful story of deception beautifully rendered. As a portrait of the idiosyncrasies of English cricket, Cometh the ¥uan is a Chinese cut above the rest."
– The Guardian
The full 600-word Guardian review – reproduced on over 20 websites worldwide - can be viewed at:
A Cutting Satire
"A cutting satire of modern Britain, railing against government spending cuts, the British class system and anti-immigration sentiments told through the medium of cricket... A delightfully quick read which would be a good addition to any cricket-fiction connoisseur’s collection."
– All Out Cricket Magazine
Full review at:
Couldn’t Put It Down
"Once I got in to this, I couldn't put it down. Newham writes about Chinese ambitions and methods with an easy assurance that (I now know) comes from first hand knowledge. A delight for conspiracy theorists and cricketing buffs alike."
– Reader review posted on Amazon.co.uk (4 out of 5 stars)
“I discovered Cometh the Yuan thanks to a recommendation and devoured it in one sitting. In the author's hands, cricket becomes a clever narrative device for exploring the continually contested bid for global supremacy between the East and the West.
Newham's characterisation of the English upper class is delightfully damning whilst his wry observations on China's conquest-at-any-cost approach neatly transcends fiction to portend darker things for the global economy and society at large. However, to prevent this becoming simply a soliloquy on the state of East-West relations in the twenty-first century, unexpected references to topics such as dogging and dildos keep Cometh the Yuan firmly within the traditions of the English novel.
A straightforward but rewarding read. Highly recommended.”
– Reader review posted on Amazon.co.uk (4 out of 5 stars)
Gripped To The Last Paragraph
"Wonderful breathtakingly scurrilous comic romp into the world of sport and international politics which leaves you wondering if it could actually happen. China gaining entry to the highest levels of western government via cricket? Surely not. What a ludicrous suggestion. But then again...
Newham's art in making the preposterous believable keeps you gripped to the last paragraph and could even keep you awake at night. Thoroughly recommended... especially for conspiracy theorists with a playful sense of humour."
– Reader review posted on Goodreads.com (5 out of 5 stars)
Right At Home In The Traditions Of British Comedy
“Absolutely ridiculous and very entertaining. Every character in this book, from the cricket club elites to the nefarious Chinese trying to take over the world by, umm, starting with a major cricket club, is laughable. All, that is, except the enterprising young journalist, a Brit who takes a job in Beijing with the China Daily newspaper and is determined not to give into the mind games of the Chinese media – wait, wasn't all that in the author's bio? Yes, that too.
Throughout the book, Newham is telling us that just because he's paranoid doesn't mean the Chinese aren't out to take over the world. Over and over he tells us that the food is the only saving grace of the Chinese culture. But what he shows us of Britain, with its hierarchy, its fawning over the rich, its superciliousness, obsession with history long gone, and all its navel-gazing, seems hardly worth the effort of overtaking. Surely these fellows will drown themselves in time – no need to interfere.
But the Chinese in the book are nothing if not ambitious. They are taking over the oil industry, the flower industry, but most importantly, and most astoundingly, the game of cricket. They're changing the rules! Introducing technology! Condemning the game to popularity and accessibility to the common joe!
As shocking as all this is, it's sure to get a different reaction from us yankees than from the native Brit population. But it's right at home in the traditions of British comedy. Nefarious plans circle around on other secret nefarious plans, all couched in some tut-tutting and civilized rage. The fact that the book ends unresolved seems hardly surprising – the tail-chasing round and round could go on forever at this rate. A delightful read.”
– Reader review posted on Goodreads.com (4 out of 5 stars)
During a thirty-year career as a print and broadcast journalist Mark Newham's coverage of international affairs and development issues has appeared in almost every quality British newspaper, in international news magazines and on the BBC.
Newham has also acted as a media consultant to the United Nations, the World Bank, the European Union and to China's state-run Xinhua news agency.
He accepted the Xinhua posting for one reason and one reason only – to gain firsthand, inside knowledge of the rules governing China's media mind games… and to see how much both could be bent.
Cometh the Yuan is the second in a trilogy charting China’s growing influence on the world. The first – Limp Pigs – was published in 2011 and ranked Number One in Amazon’s censorship category for several weeks. The BBC called it ‘Unique... Inspiring....’