Bowled over ever since that Headingley Ashes match
Matthew Dixon, who runs MD Law, on how the 1981 Ashes series set off a life- long love affair with the game of cricket.
HOW DOES a 12- year- old lad not become captivated with cricket when the first two days of test cricket he watches live are days four and five of the Headingley Test of the 1981 Ashes series?
I was already smitten with the intricacies of the game before travelling up to Leeds from Sheffield those two coldish days in July 1981. I was fortunate enough to be able to transfer my enthusiasm on to the field of play and I continue to enjoy the challenge and will hopefully enter the 2016 series fit enough to complete my tenth season as first XI captain of Sheffield Collegiate Cricket Club ( SCCC).
The body may bark at me more now after 50 overs fielding and a 15- over spell of slow bowling but I still look forward to playing and trying to win games for SCCC.
Playing the game for the past 35 years or so has been extremely rewarding, both on and off the field and has been a pleasant diversion from my day job as a solicitor in Sheffield.
Last season was particularly fraught as I started my own legal practice MD Law.
Cricket has also made me so many friends, both at SCCC and in opposition teams. It has allowed me to tour numerous locations within the UK and as a playing member of the Marylebone Cricket Club ( MCC) to India, Brazil and Chile, Finland and Estonia and Greece.
I have also enjoyed watching SCCC old boys, Michael Vaughan and Joe Root, score 100s for England at home and abroad.
It has also allowed me to play at Lord’s where the North East won off the last ball of the game by one wicket. I was lucky enough to be in the tenth wicket partnership which won the game and albeit the Long Room only contained 40 people as we walked back in it was a “hair standing up on the back of the neck” moment. I have also played at Test grounds in India and first class grounds in Yorkshire.
I appreciate that I cannot play forever and it appears that others seem to think my playing days are close to finishing too. I have been invited on to various committee roles. The camaraderie of the dressing room, the laughs, both and on the pitch, the joy of winning and respect for the game, officials and opposition and your team mates, all mean cricket is the best game to be involved in.
Thank you, Beefy and Bob!
MATTHEW DIXON: Played at Test grounds in India and first class grounds in Yorkshire.