The most exciting two weeks of my life
Not even my debut for Lancashire or my maiden first class hundred come close to the last 2 weeks.
On Thursday 16th September, my immediate thoughts on awaking turned to Lancashire's chances of winning the County Championship that day! I decided they had no chance but consoled myself that they had taken it to the last day and they had enjoyed a successful season. It would be 78 years since the last title now.
On arriving at Old Trafford for a day's work, I did email a couple of close friends and ventured to suggest it could still happen if, if, if, if!!!!!
An hour later, I had received emails back informing me that Hampshire were smashing Warwickshire all round the Rose Bowl. No matter, too little too late. Even so, we put the TV on in the office and started to take a little bit of notice. By lunch, with Carberry on 100 and McKenzie looking set to bat til Christmas, attention had clearly turned to Taunton, where Lancashire, despite 2 early wkts, were struggling to manouvre themselves into a realistic chance of winning.
For at least the next 2 hours, we discussed all sorts of scenarios but never believed thet it could happen. When Somerset went 200 ahead with limited time left in the game, it was even more frustrating as it looked as though Warwickshire could not win but Lancs would not have time to force a victory. They would finish 2 points behind again!!!!! Then all of a sudden ,we were batting, the world went mad! 30 off 4 ("solid start" emails landed in my inbox). We were not working in the office now and SKY did not know whether to be at Taunton or the Rose Bowl. 90-0 off 11 ("we can do this")! I discussed with Steve Titchard whether Warwicks could force a win and we convinced ourselves the destiny of the title rested solely on the run chase at Taunton. SKY went there and at 125, we lost 2 wkts. O no, here we go! Suddenly, after more anxious overs, it was 160-2; there were still a possible 14 overs left with only 60 odd needed. This is going to happen!!!!
The next bit was weird as it was never in doubt. We celebrated mildly in the office when Crofty hit the winning runs and I smiled at Warwickshire skipper, Troughton's admirable interview on TV when he must have been gutted. I could not go out as my wife was due to give birth any day-how frustrating.
I awoke the next day still smiling. Fate had booked me a day off but with no hangover to nurse, set about clearing out the garage...then........it happened! Waters broke, a visit to hospital, a further trip home to nurse the early contractions and back in for labour. 29 hours later, we had a son (TED). I informed son number 1, Myles (his birth was the only other thing this exciting) and he was delighted to have a brother. He was still struggling to get his head round Lancs winning the Championship so it was a bit much for him (even he had been waiting 19 years!).
Days later, once settled at home, trying to come to terms with it all, we get the call that Test Cricket is back at Old Trafford. I spent a lot of time in July and August with the Directors at LCCC (Jim, Mike, Lee and Geoff) putting together our bid presentation. It was the culmination of some good work. I still could not celebrate as my wife was not fit to drive yet!!
Last Tuesday (27th Sept) number one son then jetted off to Brisbane, Australia, to play cricket for our Winter. I was pleased for him but emotionally shot! (He is there safe and settled in).
Back at my desk now, nearly 3 weeks since that Thursday morning, I am just getting time to reflect hence this blog. I have just read it back...that will not happen again and I need to enjoy this now. I am wetting the baby's head with friends this Saturday..it promises to a big one!!!!!
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Having won the last five games in a row Lancashire were looking to make it six and therefore top their group in the ECB Royal London Cup. This would mean a quarter final place and more importantly a home draw! ... Full story