Tag Archives: cricket




Angry fans at Lancashire have formed a pressure group over growing unrest about facilities at Old Trafford

The grass-roots membership feels increasingly sidelined despite a long programme of multi-million pound investments.

The numbers of members and fans have been dwindling as a new venue has taken shape – the latest development being a Hilton Garden hotel.

The Lancashire Action Group (LAG) was formed due to the inability to effect change by the Members Representative Group (MRG) – a body set up to offer a channel of communication between members and the Board.

Issues to be raised include:

*Calling for a dissolution of the MRG

*Members to be allowed in The Point – the huge red corporate shed with balcony

*An elevated view in the pavilion – currently only for premium members

*Halt plans to demolish the Red Rose Suite – an indoor seating and refreshments area


Longstanding fan Ian Lomax formed helped found LAG several years ago to tackle issues but the organisation took a backseat when the club created the members’ group. He explained: “We thought the club had finally had finally listened by starting up the members’ group but it has become clear it is little more than a way for the club to control members rather than letting them have a say.

“As a result the action group has been revived. No wonder fans and members are staying away, they have not been considered in these massive corporate developments.

“The fact that the ordinary member does not have access to an elevated view in the pavilion or The Point is scandalous.

“We intend to lobby the club and demand action at the forthcoming annual general meeting.”

The group is creating a fanzine called NOT The Spin – in contrast to the club official magazine called Spin – and is having dozens of polo shirts with logos made ready for the new season. It is also active on Facebook and Twitter

London-based fan Timothy St. Ather was booted off the MRG for his forthright view

“We were treated as an irrelevance, it was all a complete waste of time. St.Ather went on: “I joined the members group because I believed the Board was serious about improving customer service and communications after decades of dissatisfaction.

“But when I think about what we actually achieved in three years the only thing I can come up with is ensuring a regular supply of paper towels in the ladies rest room.

“One season we didn’t meet at all so i wrote to the chairman warning him some of us were ready to resign and he just said, fine, everyone is replaceable! This is how we discovered the Board was prepared to get rid of anyone who didn’t agree with them.

“The Lancashire Action group is an independent body but we intend to put pressure on the club to put members’ interests above those of sponsors and other revenue-generators which seems to be the club’s main preoccupation these days.

“Whilst income is very important it seems to have become the driving force of the whole business instead of the cricket and the members.”

At an end of season forum club chief executive Daniel Gidney said to one irate member: “I am surprised to hear you say members are getting less and less facilities, as I would like to think we have, compared to a lot of Clubs, have a lot of facilities for members. That is not to say we can’t do more and it is something we are looking at.”



Facebook: Lancashire Cricket Action Group



Cricket beside the seaside

Lancashire v Middlesex 9/6/17

Trafalgar Road, Southport.

Lancs won by 8 wickets




It had it all – a sun blazing on my baldy pate, a washed out day fit for gumboots or goloshes and two other days that at times required a jumper and an overcoat. The cricket weren’t bad either and even though just three days of play were possible, the Red Rose were able to inflict the champions first defeat in 21 outings.

There is something unique about outground cricket, especially at the seaside. But Birkdale is the posh bit of Southport, far from the commotion of the funfair or the whiff of fish and chips.

The cricket ground is not far from the golf club which will host the Open championship in July.

Birkdale has wide rolling boulevards and most homes have their own driveway – nevertheless at the southern approach the authorities have imposed a staggering mile-long parking exclusion zone.

I can’t quite make out if this is to funnel motorists to the designated car park zone (fiver a go and throw in a lengthy hike) or to ensure the top cops and senior Town Hall officials who inhabit these parts are not disrupted by the hoi polloi. One thing is certain, it is not on traffic management grounds.

At the ground there is something of a queue. Given the heightened atmosphere over security I imagined there was a frantic scrabble for exploding sandwiches.

In the event it was an alcohol search. A table had been put up for the contraband and was groaning with two cans of cider.

An old lad in the queue recalled the 1981 encounter with Middlesex at this very venue when the lines snaked down Trafalgar Road and the beer ran out by 2 p.m as Clive Lloyd knocked a few into the leafy avenues. The occasion? A day off for the common people while Charles and Di tied the knot.

A couple of temporary grandstands had been erected and chairs and benches dotted the ground which backs on the rail line ferrying passengers between Liverpool and Southport.  Even though a sign stated that no dogs were allowed on the ground I spied Jack Russell eager for a book signing to commence.

The first day really was a scorcher, ice creams and Crabbie’s ginger beer  being gobbled up greedily. Three chaps behind me were debating various matters relating to the game but the foremost question seemed to be when to get the first ale in.

‘Is the sun over the yardarm?’ one asked. ‘Who knows’ quoth another. They decided on 11.45.

After a slurp of lubrication they embarked on the highlights of their careers in organised cricket – top scores of 24, 20 and 9 respectively.

In the meantime the Londoners appeared to be ruing the decision to bat as wickets quickly fell. At lunchtime there were rumours of dark mutterings from the Middlesex players about the pitch.

I took a stroll around the boundary and bumped into an old colleague from Trinity Mirror. Inevitably it descended into him bemoaning his lot – forced to work from home on a rota made for a Roman galley slave. And one of the lads had to take a 25% pay cut! Imagine having to survive on 90 grand a year in austerity Britain.  

Middlesex were skittled for 180 but cynical Lanky lags merely looked to the heavens when Davis and Livingstone departed in the opening over. The ship was steadied to leave Lancs 123-4 at the end of day one.

In contrast to sunburn weather on the first day, the following was a complete washout. Not many ice creams sold or £4 sausage barms for that matter.

Day three was decisive and particularly innings from MaClaren (75) and Bailey (58) which  propelled Lancs into a lead of 129.

I disappeared due to family commitments but was back on day four when Middlesex were struggling to build a lead with four wickets left.

This time the weather was a mixture of overcast condition and blue skies but still very much on the parky side.

Still a good crowd in but with an air of inevitability about it. The champions cobbled together a lead of 107 which was never enough to make a game of it. Lancs won by eight wickets with Hameed showing a glimmer of form by painstakingly making his way to 38. While most players are greedy for runs the young man ekes them out in miserly fashion, almost unhappy at having to leave his defensive pose.

A great day out is outground cricket and I am pleased to say Lancashire have also played at Liverpool and Blackpool this season. Sir Ian Botham has also made noises about taking Durham back out into the heartlands. Surely its time Yorkshire eyed up some of the haunts they abandoned? Eyy up lad, there’s nowt like it.







China cricket 2

Yes the Chinese have taken up cricket. The game is now an option in every primary school in a country that houses a quarter of the world’s population and there is rising confidence that the country will be playing international’s by 2020. They can throw so many bodies at anything they turn to that a future humiliation at the hands of the Chinese cannot be ruled out. And the prospective global audience for India v China is frightening to contemplate.  It’s a far cry from when I lived in Singapore in the sixties. My father  turned out for the RAF against a touring side in a cricket match that left the Chinese utterly baffled.  Especially when one player was bowled by a ‘Chinaman’! Someone tried explaining that it was the term for a ball bowled in the opposite way to a googly:

“The bowler uses a wrist torsion action to spin the ball so that when it pitches it turns from off to leg for a right-handed batsman, i.e. from left to right from the bowler’s perspective. The direction of turn mirrors that of a conventional right-handed off spin bowler, however, the ball will usually turn more sharply due to the spin being imparted predominantly by the wrist.”

 Maybe all is not lost. One Chinese chap when asked about the thought of watching a game for five days enquired whether it was a Test or pure torture…..