Supporter in the Spotlight
Q: What was your first overseas Test match?
A: My first overseas Test match was in Brisbane at the Gabba, which was part of the 2006/2007 Ashes Tour of Australia. Needless to say, it was not a good game or series to start with! Harmison's first delivery went straight into the hands of second slip, who I believe was Freddie Flintoff. The sign of things to come, me thinks.
Q: What is your most memorable overseas Test match you’ve seen?
A: The Boxing Day Test at the MCG, which was part of the 2010/2011 Ashes Tour of Australia. The day before, we had had Christmas Day lunch at the Crown Casino & unknowing to us the Australian players, wife's & girlfriends were there too. In fact, we were next door to them & they were not impressed, due to the singing & constant volume coming out of our room all afternoon. They even had to share the toilets with us & as you can imagine there was some good old "banter" flying back & forth. Needless to say, the next day was the best day's cricket I've seen (apart from Stuart Broad's 8-15 at Trent Bridge in 2015). They were all out for 98 & England were 157 for 0 at close. We obviously had an effect on their mindset.
Q: Who is your favourite current England player?
A: Alistair Cook. I just think he has it all & he's been there & done it. He's not particularly had a good winter in Australia or New Zealand, but in my eyes his overall stats say it all. Form is temporary, class is permanent!
Q: Who is your favourite England player of all time?
A: Sir Ian Botham. In his prime he was one of the most devastating batsman, bowler & fields man (at slip) that we have ever produced. His record says it all & again stats don't lie. I think it was more the fact of expectation with Botham, more than anything else. He believed & you believed that when he either went out to bat or to bowl that something was going to happen & generally it did.
Q: Who is your favourite opposition player of all time?
A: Mitchell Johnson. Not for his ability as a cricketer, but just the way he came back at us in the 2013/2014 Ashes Series in Australia, after all the stick he had been given four years earlier. You have to take your hat off to the man to be able to come back from the mental battering he received from the Barmy Army, which in my eyes deserves a lot of credit, even if he is an Australian. I also have a soft spot for Sir Viv Richards, who I thought was a class above most players in his time. His swagger & batting technique was a joy to watch.
Q: What is your favourite overseas Test ground any why?
A: Probably "the basin reserve" at Wellington in New Zealand. It's a great Test venue & is still a "cricket ground" unlike a lot of the new all purpose stadiums that we see today. Too much concrete with these & not enough grassy verges. I do like to visit "Newlands" in Cape Town, as you don't get views like that anywhere else, apart from maybe the cricket ground in Queenstown in New Zealand. Pity they don't play Test matches there though!
Q: Which country is your favourite to tour and why?
A: Very simple. It's New Zealand. It's a wonderful country with outstanding views & scenery. The people are very welcoming & if you haven't been before then it's a must. The only down side is that we don't seem to go there too often & unfortunately we don't play enough Tests there.
Q: Of all the cities/towns you visited on town, which is your favourite and why?
A: Definitely Queenstown in New Zealand. There's everything to do there. It's the extreme sports capital of New Zealand & you will never get bored there. The views are outstanding & the food & drink is great. Another "must visit" place.
Q: What is your most memorable non cricket moment on tour?
A: Doing my sky dive from 16000 feet on the recent New Zealand tour. I did a tandem jump with the instructor who was from South Africa, appropriately called "Scruffy". His first words were to me, "are u scared?", to which I answered "no, not really", to which he then replied, "you will be!". It was a fantastic experience & one off the bucket list.
Q: What do you enjoy most about touring?
A: The people, banter, food, drink & don't forget the cricket, is brilliant. It's a great way to tour the world & see different countries & cultures, whilst watching Test cricket. It's a good way to meet new friends & old ones.