Supporter in the Spotlight
Red Nigel Q&A
Q: What was your first overseas Test match?
A: An England win in the Boxing Day test match at the MCG in 1998.
Q: What is your most memorable overseas Test match you’ve seen?
A: A tough one this - many great cricketing memories - Darren Gough’s hat trick in Sydney 1999, Lara’s 400 at St. John's in 2004, Ali Cook’s century on debut in Nagpur 2006, last day heroics to draw in Capetown 2010 or Auckland 2013? But I'm going for something completely different...
... as an all-round memorable - if bonkers - experience I’d say Lahore in 2005. Not the cricket (we lost heavily) but staying in the same hotel as the teams with armed guards/machine guns everywhere, getting access to alcohol (much to the teams' bemusement) from a dodgy off licence (!) outside it, the random social club we went to at intervals, utterly beserk tuktuk drivers, cows and carts everywhere on the roads, overly-friendly and giddy locals, meeting the Gaddafi Stadium (!) scoreboard operators and watching from inside it on the final day.
Q: Who is your favourite current England player?
A: Jimmy Anderson. Big fan of the gingers, too - Stokesy and Jonny Bairstow - their partnership in Capetown will be the most enjoyable one I’ll ever see.
Q: Who is your favourite England player of all time?
A: Jimmy again. Was at Lord’s for his first test wicket (v Zimbabwe) and will be wherever I need to be for his final one too! Hope that is a few years off yet...
Q: Who is your favourite opposition player of all time?
A: Wasim Akram. Although this is a bit of a cheat answer as he is an honorary Lancastrian. A wizard swinging the ball and if he hit it, it stayed hit too!
Q: What is your favourite overseas Test ground any why?
A: Galle - it was one of my first aways (in 2001) when Marcus Trescothick scored a century. Spent two days of our last test match there watching in the sunshine from the top of the fort wall. It's a fantastic setting - we stayed at the Fort Hotel last time that is also superb! Can't wait to be there again in November.
Q: Which country is your favourite to tour and why?
A: Sri Lanka - great people (with an incredible passion for cricket), amazing food (best currys in the world) and such a variety of places - from Galle's Fort and the beaches in the south west to the resorts on the west coast to the hills of Kandy to the hectic tuktuks of Colombo. Superb!
Q: Of all the cities/towns you visited on town, which is your favourite and why?
A: An obvious answer, I'm afraid, but I'm going to say Capetown. Simply a fantastic city with great quality and variety of hotels, food, beer and wine, scenery. Unbeatable.
Q: What is your most memorable non cricket moment on tour?
A: Not so much a moment - but a day! 'Twas the first day of the first test on the 2013 NZ tour in Dunedin. And we had a 'perfect storm' starting early doors in the pub at 07:30 to watch United play Real Madrid in the Champions League. We got knocked out - Midnight and I decided to drown our sorrows with our first pint towards the end of the second half. Then the weather intervened in Dunedin and rain meant that (ultimately) the whole first day’s cricket got washed out... and so we continued to drink. On and on. England fans continued to pour into the bar during the day and we continued to pour local beer down our throats and have increasingly animated and vocal 'discussions' with the many varied arrivals in the bar. After several entertaining altercations, Midnight left after a good 12+ hour stint (he fell off the bus on the way home) - I ended up leaving the pub and slurring at the first ‘local’ I saw outside to ask where the nearest taxi rank was. Except that I really should have realised that the ‘local’ was actually Steven Finn who, at 6 foot whatever and a regular in our team, was utterly bemused at me asking him!
Q: What do you enjoy most about touring?
A: Visiting new grounds (have now seen England play at over 60) - I love watching us play at new venues and visiting new towns and cities. Equally, I love a beer or ten as well as my food and for me there is nothing better than exploring for new bars (and drinking in the cheapest one in town as located by Charlie Mellor!) and restaurants in cities with the wonderfully eclectic bunch, several of whom have been around for many of the last twenty years!