JANUARY SALE Subscribe for just £5 today CLICK HERE

Kent cricket

PUBLISHED: 21:38 28 March 2016 | UPDATED: 21:38 28 March 2016

Kent County Cricket match

Kent County Cricket match

Archant

Radio Kent broadcaster and producer Andy Garland is planning a trip to Canterbury for his first county
cricket match of the season

I’m planning a trip…

More than one actually, although to be fair if I achieve a single visit in 2016 that would be a victory; you see, I singularly failed to attend last year and managed just one outing in the 12 months before that.

It is not unpleasant either, this jaunt, the destination being the dreaming spires of Canterbury. But this siren call is not from the 
cathedral, nor my former faculty or even the Red Lion at Stodmarsh; April’s beckoning finger summons me to that gladiatorial amphitheatre of the St. Lawrence ground, where once again my adopted county will set out on its herculean task to recreate the glory days of the 1970s.

I’m hoping that the accompaniment to my spring and summer will be that most evocative of sounds – the thwack of willow on leather, closely followed in the aural mix by muted applause, the rustling of a broadsheet newspaper and the murmur of an appreciative crowd responding to a perfectly timed cover drive.

Surely watching cricket has to rate as one of the most civilised experiences in Kent? Sadly from a first XI point of view, it’s a case of delayed gratification as Worcester and Leicester get first dibs this year. Kent’s trophy-winning women’s team aren’t in action either until the first of May with their initial two games away to Somerset and Sussex respectively.

Thankfully, attitudes to the excellent women’s game have improved since General Melchett refused Lt. George permission to save Captain Blackadder, noting that such a mission would be as pointless as trying to teach a woman the value of a good forward defensive stroke.

The women’s County Championship game is played over a single day; the men’s over four. Oh, to be retired and attend every match! I’ve no time for Thierry Henry who stated: “The only thing I won’t watch is darts. And I don’t watch cricket. How can you like a game that requires you to take four days off work to follow a Test?”

I feel as if I owe it to history to put in the required effort to safeguard the viewing of a sport with at least 300 years’ worth of inter-county heritage.

And if I’m lucky I might sneak over to the Neville ground during Tunbridge Wells Week for the last couple of hour’s play.

A previous visit saw an elderly steward knocked out after a lofted six straight over long-off felled him as neatly as a swift left-hook.

But as pleasant as the Neville ground and its bank of rhododendrons is in providing a welcome diversion to the gardener in me during tea, it’s the pull of the east of the county that will draw me back time and time again. I wish it could be more

“Endless cricket, like endless anything else, simply grinds you down,” said former Chairman of England selectors Ted Dexter. He could not be more wrong, constant cricket ensures that failure at the crease one day can be triumphantly salvaged the next; tomorrow’s overcast, cold, cloudy conditions may mean revenge for being sprayed all over the pitch by the batsman who’s seeing the leather ball like a football and the application of ice-cold concentration in the slips means that you can cling on, when others will let it slip through their fingers.

“But cricket’s sooooo boring” is the oft-heard refrain, “nothing ever happens.” But for me that is the very crux of the matter; on the next ball, anything might just happen. w

More from Kent Life

The season of romance is in the air and with fairytale castles, literary tales and iconic White Cliffs, where better to pop the question than in the Garden of England? Here are 10 of Kent's perfect places to propose

Read more

When funds are low and the family is going stir-crazy stuck indoors, here is some fun, free stuff to get you through

Read more
Mon, 16:04

The beautiful Hever Castle will launch snowdrop season with a talk followed by a woodland walk

Read more
Tuesday, January 14, 2020

A lawyer from Canterbury has launched a new Sunday afternoon tea party for senior citizens in the city who live alone

Read more

Regularly voted one of Kent's best places to live, and with easy access to London, let's celebrate Sevenoaks

Read more
Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Greensand Ridge, the craft distillery near Shipbourne in the Weald of Kent, has been recognised in the annual Spirits Business awards with the 2019 Distillery Sustainability Award

Read more
Friday, January 10, 2020

Your 2020 holiday sorted!

Read more
Wednesday, January 8, 2020

We've teamed up with Sandy Acres to offer you the chance to win a luxurious stay in one of their Scandi-style lodges in Hayle,

Read more
Tuesday, January 7, 2020

The elusive snowdrop can be hard to find and before you know it, they're gone again, so we saved you the trouble and found some beautiful spots in Kent to go for a walk among the snowdrops

Read more

Want to get fitter, feed your brain or start a new hobby? The National Trust can help kickstart your 2020 plans

Read more
Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life