Former Indian and NZ Cricket Coach John Wright Has Recorded a Country-Blues-Reggae Album

"Even if they are really bad songs, they are my songs."​

02 January 2017, 5:41pm


Racing the roundabout from Shickity Shack / Big Hercules and his off-spin track;

Back it up, back it up, is what he said / I've got English Harbour, it's a dark fine rum

Red-eyed mornings in the glaring sun / My head keeps aching and the clock has passed midday

- 'Kingston' by John Wright (Red Skies, 2016)

Amongst the tracks on 'Red Skies' - the surprise debut album of former cricket test opener and coach John Wright is a reggae-themed number on what it was like to tour the West Indies as an international in the 1980s.

"I hope the song reflects that Caribbean flavour, which I think is unique and extrovert," Wright told Cricinfo, of 'Kingston'.

"I love playing in Antigua, the music there and the reggae. They have a great history of great music in the West Indies. I love the place. The Red Stripe Beer, the jerk chicken and things like that.

"That song came up when I was doing commentary during the World Cup and around the Indian team, I wrote it a bit here and there, though. I went there many times and I've enjoyed the visits - except that the cricket can be tough, you can get some hammerings."

Wait a second - John Wright, who coached India between 2000 and 2005 - and his home country between 2010 and 2012, recorded ... an album? Yep. Two weeks ago, Wright released 'Red Skies'; a 11-track compilation featuring country/blues influenced ballads, plus the Windies-influenced reggae number.

According to Cricinfo, the song lyrics range from musings about cricket, earthquakes in New Zealand, a coal-mining accident on Kiwi West Coast and "other, more personal, subjects."

The album's music was arranged by Kiwi friends, and pro musicians, Liam Ryan and Dean Hetherington. Ryan produced and recorded 'Red Skies', while Hetherington played guitar.

Wright, who is now based in Mumbai where he is a scout for the Indians IPL team, said he has long had a love for music - but gave it up to pursue cricket.

"After a number of years I worked out that I wasn't going to be a Jimi Hendrix or Mark Knopfler," Wright, who played 82 tests for New Zealand between 1978 and 1993, says.

"When you are a sportsman, you are on the road a lot and it's quite lonely for everybody. The tours can be long, so the guitar was always great because it was something interesting to do and was sort of a companion. It was during my time with India in 2001 or 2002 that I thought I'd write songs.

"Even if they are really bad songs, they are my songs."

The album can be found on iTunes and Spotify.