Q: What was your first overseas Test match?
A: Pretoria 1994. I went with a mate Dave Bennett and a friendly crowd with Group Sports Travel. The first day was great until it started to rain. We got invited up to a box by a friendly South African who said we were welcome to return any time during the rest of the match. But we woke the next day to torrential rain that didn’t ease until the test was over.
Q: What is your most memorable overseas Test match you’ve seen?
A: Jamaica 2004. When Dave, Andy, Ian, and I arrived at the bar we thought we should have rum punches. “They are not very strong are they?” said Andy. The barman heard. “You boys want another?” One was given separately “This is for your friend who thinks they are not that strong.” Andy was subsequently badly hungover in the morning and said he may give the cricket a miss. He changed his mind thankfully and saw Steve Harmison destroy the Windies with 7 wickets and we won with ease. We finished our day with a tour around Bob Marley’s house, followed by a glorious beach and, of course, evening drinks.
Q: Who is your favourite current England player?
A: Harsh on Jimbo and Broad but Joe Root. Without him our batting would look flimsier than a bit of well used sandpaper.
Q: Who is your favourite England player of all time?
A: Ian Botham. Gave the country such a much-needed lift in 1981. I loved Geoff Boycott but Beefy won us more games.
Q: Who is your favourite opposition player of all time?
A: Viv Richards. The conversation is often “Who is the second-best batsman you’ve ever seen. A fella behind me at Hove one year said he was past it, he promptly flicked one over the scoreboard for six.
Q: What is your favourite overseas Test ground and why?
A: I loved the old Rec ground in Antigua, with Chicky banging out the tunes. Adelaide, Galle, Hamilton, and Cape Town are lovely places to watch cricket too. Adelaide nicks it.
Q: Which country is your favourite to tour and why?
A: All you go to are great in very different ways which makes it so wonderfully varied, but West Indies by the barest of margins.
Q: Of all the cities/towns you visited on town, which is your favourite and why?
A: Sydney. The first trip I went on with my best mate Andy. I was shattered after the flight, but he insisted on going down to see the Opera House. I wasn’t in the mood but once I got there and saw that Harbour, I knew I was on the other side of the world to watch England. Emotionally I remembered the young me listening to scratchy TMS commentary years earlier who would never have imagined ever actually being in Australia to watch England.
Q: What is your most memorable non cricket moment on tour?
A: Playing golf with Dave in Antigua. The only other players we saw on the course or in the clubhouse were Viv Richards and Brian Lara. After an evening in Joburg two Addis guys, Midnight and George, and I hopped into a taxi which couldn’t find our hotel and got hopelessly lost. Midnight was taking the piss out of the driver whilst George and I were in hysterics in the back. Eventually we found it. Then we realised it wasn’t a taxi at all, we had just got in some random blokes’ car and demanded he drove us home. We felt awful but had a beer to get over it.
Q: What do you enjoy most about touring?
A: Warm weather, live sport and escaping watching Palace in the freezing Holmesdale Road Stand for a week or two. What’s not too like and that’s before meeting some great people.