Home Supporters in the Spotlight Supporter Q&A – Cliff Lambdon

Supporter Q&A – Cliff Lambdon

by Addis Army Cricket

Q: What was your first overseas Test match?
A: Adelaide 2006. The euphoria of winning the Ashes in 2005 got a few of us talking about going to an Ashes test down under. We chose the second test and still cannot believe that after declaring on 551-6 we lost. If only Giles hadn’t dropped Ponting on 35 with Australia 78-3 then maybe the Aussies would not have enjoyed what some of their players called the sweetest win of them all. It didn’t put us off following England though and we have tried to go to one overseas test every year since.

Q: What is your most memorable overseas Test match you’ve seen?
A: I was torn between the wins in Mumbai 2012 and Johannesburg 2016 but the former gets the vote as, at the 7th attempt, we saw our first tour win. 11 wickets in the match for Monty plus 8 wickets for Swann, centuries for Cook and KP gave us a 10-wicket win. Memories include the adulation for Tendulkar from his home crowd, a capacity Wankhede Stadium chanting Pujari’s name as he came to the wicket and chatting with Raoul Dravid whilst in the queue at the breakfast buffet in the Hotel.

Q: Who is your favourite current England player?
A: Stuart Broad because he is big and bad and better than his dad. My favourite performance is his 6-17 in Johannesburg 2016 against South Africa, the number one team in the world at that time. It was especially enjoyable as a couple of locals behind us, in the executive boxes no less, were giving Broad dogs abuse but the louder they abused him the more wickets he took, taking us to a win. South Africa were the number one team in the world no more.

Q: Who is your favourite England player of all time?
A: Difficult one this as I could probably select half a dozen from over the years but I am going to go for my first ever favourite player, Ken Barrington although it could quite easily be John Edrich from the same era.

Q: Who is your favourite opposition player of all time?
A: Not sure you can have a favourite opposition player but there have been many I have admired for their efforts on the cricket field. The closest I have to a favourite would probably be M S Dhoni who first came to my attention in a charity Twenty20 match at The Oval and I have admired his calm demeanour ever since. 

Q: What is your favourite overseas Test ground and why?
A: It has to be The Wanderers. On our first trip to South Africa, to Centurion, a day trip took us through Joburg and past the cricket ground. We stopped to see if we could have a look around and the guy on the gate let us in to an empty ground. I could see why they called it the Bullring and on leaving thought that I would love to see a cricket match here. Seven years later I got my wish and it lived up to all my expectations with the bonus of an England win.

Q: Which country is your favourite to tour and why?
A: South Africa where I have seen two wins (Joburg 2016 and PE 2019) and a draw (Centurion 2009). The cricket grounds are established with a bit of history to them with proper facilities, the Hotels are up to the standards we would enjoy at home and the food is excellent with the steaks some of the best I have ever eaten plus the local wine goes down a treat and, due to the rate of exchange it is ridiculously cheap.

Q: Of all the cities/towns you visited on town, which is your favourite and why?
A: I am not sure you can beat staying in a beach hotel in Barbados. Apart from the great beaches there is the fun of cramming into a ZR independent taxi with its loud music, a night out in St Lawrence Gap, Oistins Fish Fry on a Friday night and an afternoon’s horse racing mixing with the locals at Garrison Savannah, and that is just the south coast. Brilliant holiday destination with an excellent cricket ground and the friendliest of people.

Q: What is your most memorable non cricket moment on tour?
A: On arrival in Antigua in 2009 we got into a cab driven by AJ. We had no match tickets so on the way to our hotel he took us to the closed ticket office. He banged on the door shouting ‘customers’ and persuaded them to open up and sell us match tickets. He would do for us so we used him for some sightseeing around the island and for transport to and from the ground. He was a larger-than-life character who seemed to know everyone wherever we went and helped make our trip. Fast forward six years to 2015 and we are in Barbados. We had flown there via Antigua. Our return was an evening departure to London after an early flight from Barbados giving us a day on the island which we spent at The Antigua Athletic Club near to the airport overlooking the old Stanford cricket ground. For lunch we decided to go into St Johns. We walked across the derelict cricket ground to the airport which was very quiet with just a line of driverless taxis. We approached the dispatchers hut and requested a taxi to St Johns. He called up the driver of the first vehicle and who should appear but AJ. We couldn’t believe it nor could he. He told us that as he walked towards us, he said to himself, I recognise these guys. An amazing coincidence.  

Q: What do you enjoy most about touring?
A: Going for an early morning pre breakfast swim then meeting up to spend the day watching test cricket, in a place that I would likely as not never have contemplated visiting for a holiday, mixing with likeminded people, and in the evening experiencing a local bar or restaurant discussing the days play, retiring late to bed then getting up the following day to do it all again!

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