A catastrophe at New Road Worcester gave me a happy consequence, an extra day of county cricket in Chelmsford. Warwickshire had moved their game against my team Essex only to be undone by a flood at the lovely Worcestershire ground.
With a ticket for the World Cup Final a trip to Worcester wasn’t on the cards, but a 5 minute drive to the County Ground was perfect!
At the time of writing I’ve watched 12 World Cup games and had 2 rained off, I’ve had a truly amazing 6 weeks and hope for an extra special day at Lord’s tomorrow. Life has been hectic to say the least. A day of gentle cricket was just the antidote needed for the joyous bedlam.
9 years ago I was given a complimentary ticket to watch Essex, I loved it! And this is my 8th year as a member. In that time I’ve morphed into a ‘cricket tragic’, after my family the game is my biggest passion.
In those 8 years I’ve seen Essex win both the Division 2 and Division 2 County Championships. With the Division 1 Trophy coming in the first year in the competition.
8 years makes me a relative newcomer and it’s taken time for some to get used to me, with cricket being my one opportunity to get a suntan I tend to look a bit different to many of my fellow members. There’s been much jollity on social media with some of my ‘topless’ photos.
in true cricket anorak tradition I carry my Playfair Annual in my backpack and refer to it regularly. For some reason I’ve become obsessed with how tall players are, and I’m convinced many give the height they wish they were, rather than the height they actually are! There are lots of 5ft 10 cricketers out there who’re really much more 5ft 6!
Alongside Playfair I now have Who’s Who thanks to my friend Nigel, a wonderful little book, in it’s 40th year. I can’t believe it’s my first edition! I always look like I’m leaving home when I go to a cricket match, cricket watching in England sees a need to carry, umbrella, sun cream, raincoat, sun glasses, sun hat and early and late season a woolly hat too! We once had play stopped by snow here at Essex!
My camera, a Canon SX60 Bridge has also become a fixture, I’ve become obsessed with getting that perfect shot, taking up to 1500 photos a day. I have a definite blind spot though, I’m usually too busy watching catches to get the photo, to my regret. I do love a ball juggling photo such as the Ryan ten Doeschate example above.
With the County Ground having a river close by I can even get a nature photo sometimes, to add to the thousands of cricket photos in my library. We actually had a pair of ducks waddling around during a match earlier in the season too!
It’s great to catch moments during the game as well as the actual cricket stuff, friendships are plain to see out there in the field. As well as the absolute joy on some players who are clearly so happy to be playing cricket for a living.
My preferred view is behind the bowlers arm, I just don’t understand the people who queue up to sit on the pavilion benches at Essex, who are sideways on. Get a fast bowler and you literally can’t see the ball from there! I’m not alone in my choice and see many of the same people, their conversations often amuse and those who score every single ball in their own books fascinate me!
A lovely added bonus of being an Essex member is being able to spend time with good friends. Today with the lovely Stella, we’ve been to a few away games and are planning a couple more this summer.
Essex were put into bat by Warwickshire and have built a steady innings. Michael Burgess took a brilliant catch to dismiss Tom Westley, I of course missed the photo as I was marvelling at his efforts.
Alastair Cook in playing his 300th Innings for Essex went past 8000 First Class runs, a good day at the office for Sir A!