Getting out by Jonathan Campion

Getting out by Jonathan Campion – the Ukrainian cricket team’s last stand on the front lines of war – is a book I borrowed from the library by chance. I was looking for another book and this stood out because of its title. I had no idea Ukraine had a cricket team. When I showed my husband the book, his comment was: I had no idea Ukraine had a cricket team! It was funny. I also discovered, by reading the book, that Romania too has a cricket team, of which I had no idea either.

This is such a good book. I gave it 4 stars, but I highly recommend it. It was a bit difficult to follow the story at times because of the amount of people being mentioned and the timeline jumps. I understood why he had to write it like that, because he had to tell the story of the people, how they arrived in Ukraine or why they got involved in playing cricket.

Getting out by Jonathan Campion

The book is interesting for a few reasons. First of all it describes how cricket, a new game, was adopted in different parts of Ukraine, introduced mostly by Indian players or coaches who moved for various reasons to Ukraine. Some were there to study, others with work, some married Ukrainian women and had children. Most of them made Ukraine their home. A few others were from other places, such as South Africa.

In the book is told this story of people embracing the sport before the full-scale invasion. That in itself could have made for a fantastic book. Campion talks about the international bodies. I don’t want to give out spoilers, so I will refrain from commenting on that, but I fully agree with his views on this matter. The account of how each one of them reacted to the start of the full-scale invasion was fascinating. Some fled, some stayed, some fought, some risked their lives to save others. The lives of some refugees in the host countries is talked about too.

Because there is such a wide variety, different walks of life, different nationalities, different understandings of the situation, the book is a page turner. I enjoyed it very much. There are cricket related comments that I didn’t understand because I have no idea what are the rules. But that is not particularly relevant to the overall story and is to be expected to have cricket-stuff in a cricket book.

The last chapter is entitled Guard of Honour and lists many sportspeople who died in Ukraine after the full-scale invasion, either in combat or as civilians in their homes. Those 17 pages were heartbreaking to read. Some of them could have participated in the Olympics which starts in two weeks time. Campion offered a lovely story, while showing a strong moral clarity.

Getting out by Jonathan Campion

Details about the picture: a matcha hot chocolate seemed appropriate for a sports book
My rating: 4/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes
Published by: Pitch Publishing Ltd
Year it was published: 2024
Format: Hardcover
Genre(s): History
Pages: 225

About the author: Jonathan Campion is a writer and editor. He writes about cricket in unusual places for the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack. He lived in Ukraine from 2007 until 2010, working as a translator and editor at international firms in Kyiv. He has written about Ukraine for Lonely Planet, and about other parts of Eastern Europe in several books and magazines.
Website & Social Media Links: –

2 thoughts on “Getting out by Jonathan Campion”

    • Most of the people who brought cricket to Ukraine were from India. This is one of the most interesting things about this book, how someone who moved there as an adult reacted to the war, how they escaped, and so on.

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