Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Do They Really Love Cricket?

Last Summer, as England beat Australia to regain the Ashes in an exciting series, enormous numbers of people announced what they had previously been unaware of - that they were cricket lovers.

England cricketers such as skipper Michael Vaughan, Kevin Pietersen, Matthew Hoggard and especially Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff found themselves raised to superstar status in the eyes of people who had never previously shown any interest.

Whenever I mentioned to anybody that I was on my way to the cricket, meaning Grace Road to watch Leicestershire play, it was assumed that I was going to a Test Match.

Now since then, England have played and lost a series in Pakistan. This is not unusual or worrying. Apart from the fact that the country has produced some brilliant players, such as Imran Khan, Zaheer Abbas and Wasim Akram, it has always been notoriously difficult to get a result there. In football terms, it would be called “Fortress Pakistan”.

But since millions are now confirmed cricket followers, we should expect that all the first class counties, including Leicestershire, where I am a member, and my own native Essex, where I was a member for years, will have a huge and much needed upsurge in membership for 2006.

But I won’t hold my breath.