Kent Cricket Pages
What it's like to work for Kent County Cricket Club. What you do and who you meet
Cricketing Characters visiting Kent
Some Players who had charisma when they played and still do
There are Cricketers past and present that until a few years ago were just figures on a TV screen and you can't help thinking "I wonder if they're really like that". Being in the job I am has allowed me to meet most of these Players close hand - but in this article I will only write what anyone could find out or have probably experienced for themselves. I would not and will not break any Dressing Room Code. Here's a few I always look forward to seeing again...Jack Russell
He came down with Gloucestershire a few times whilst I've been there and before he retired and he is all the Media write about, full of superstitions and routines from Baked Beans to cups of tea! On the day before the game it was my son Leo's birthday and knowing Jack to be a legend in his mind, I asked Jack to phone him up and wish him Happy Birthday. This he did and the next day when Leo came to watch went and had a chat. Now, the amazing thing was that he returned the following season, saw my son sitting outside the Dressing Room and with no prompting atall, went up and said "Hello Leo mate, how are you". A little story maybe, but an example of the sort of man he is and how much his followers mean to him. A brilliant artist, Jack displays some of his paintings at his website HEREDerek Randall
Derek played at Canterbury for an 'Old England X1' in 2003. For me it was a match to savour because also playing was Kent and England legend Derek Underwood (who surprisingly is only a couple of years older than me!). Anyway, is Derek Randall like he always seemed, a bit of a cheeky chappy, always playing to his fans on the Boundary - Yes he is. What a great character and full of life. I think they fielded him on the boundary that day solely for his rapport! Off the field "There's nothing like a good cup of Tea" and most of the time recalling old cricket tales amongst his followers and fellow cricketers.Shane Warne
Forget all the press gossip. He is a Player I greatly admire, for his bowling, Captaincy and the absolute professional approach he has to the game. They can say this and they can say that, but he is a Star. At the end of each days play, he will religiously sign every autograph in the books of the many 100's who wait fro him to come out the Dressing Room (albeit a long wait as he's always first one in, last one out). He poses for photo's with the kids, not just a picture, but a real 'known this lad for years' look. These kids must have so many goose pimples when they leave the Ground and it surely must have a positive future effect on Cricket. Besides that he's a great guy and not selfish of assisting young cricketers no matter what County they play for. He obviously lives the game
Almost every Yorkshire born person has a character to match their County of birth and Darren Gough is no exception. The 'Strictly Come Dancing' TV competition well reflected the determination and competitiveness he has. It was no surprise that he won it! I recall him telling a few people at Tunbridge Wells when he played for Essex that many, because of his injuries, said it was the end of his Career. A few month's later he was back playing for England and One-Day cricket and then moving back to Captain Yorkshire in his own exampling way. He's always up for a conversation with the fans (no matter who's) and will speak as if he's known them all his life.
There are many more wonderful and colourful characters in Cricket and it is sincerely hard to find any 'bad eggs'. The nicety of the game is that Cricket Players, unlike some mainline Sporting people, are accessible and approachable. As the sport progresses more down the one-day route and the crowds are getting bigger, this may fade. But until then, they're a bunch of good guys!
Maybe I shall write a book when I retire and feature more of the players. But I don't want to retire and wouldn't know how to spend the obvious lorry loads of cash anyway!
A treasured possesion. Shane Warnes book signed 'To Dicky, you are a star buddy. Thanks for everything - Shane Warne'
Jack Russell with my son Leo
Darren Gough and me 2007
Last one out closes the gate !!
Another Cricket karger than life character - Merv Hughes of Australia spends the day at Canterbury when they played Banglasdesh
A famous International Cricketer was playing at Canterbury.