Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Grace Road Welcomes Graham Gooch

There was another meeting of the Leicestershire Cricket Society at Grace Road in Leicester recently, and this time the speaker was none other than Graham Gooch.

I try to get to most of these meetings, as it`s a great way of keeping in touch with cricket during the Winter months, and I certainly didn`t want to miss this one.

Graham Gooch was the captain of both Essex and England. He scored an enormous amount of runs, and is the only man in the history of cricket to score a triple century and a century in the same match, when his famous 333 against India was followed up by 123.

Not only was it great to listen to such a cricketing legend, it was a pleasure to have someone else from Essex in the room!

When it was time for questions, I said that one of the things that always endeared him to ordinary cricket lovers was that not only was he proud to play for and captain England, he was also clearly proud to play for and captain Essex, and asked if he saw any similar loyalty and local pride among today`s young cricketers.

He pointed out that it was always a pleasure, never a chore, to play for Essex, and diplomatically said, with regard to loyalty, that things have changed since his day.

Graham also reminded me that he once played for England and Essex on the same day. Knowing that England were almost certain to complete a win against Sri Lanka early in the morning, he was included in the Essex team to start a match, and they played with ten men until he arrived. The rules were changed because of that!

Graham Gooch was such a magnificent opening batsman that it is sometimes forgotten that he was a very handy bowler, with a career best of 7 - 14.

It was a most enjoyable evening, drawing a record attendance, and Graham proved to be an excellent speaker.