Day Six saw us follow Northamptonshire home, having witnessed their crushing loss to Surrey at the Oval on Monday. There was no rest from the cricket as, by chance, we sat opposite a lovely old (it turned out the husband had played good-level cricket from 1948 to 2005) Australian couple on the way to Northampton. They were on the way to the Ashes at Edgbaston and we spent a good hour discussing all things cricket with them, including KP, Giles Clarke and Aussies in County Cricket. Thankfully the topic of the Ashes were only briefly touched upon.
At Wantage Road cricket ground, the home of Northamptonshire CCC, we were presented with a signed shirt from the club to auction off for Shooting Star Chase Hospice. We also have a signed Middlesex shirt and hopefully a few more, so keep following the updates to see how you can bid for these shirts, whilst raising money for Shooting Star.
Wantage Road county ground is picturesque, and the drizzle in which we stood did not detract from its beauty. Many stands are sponsored by different local businesses or organisations, each featuring different colour seats. Unfortunately this is due to change to a more modern white, and I would implore you to visit before they change this. It really has the feel of a family club, enhanced by the great hospitality shown by the Northants staff.
Like many of the grounds we have visited so far, the ground mixes the old with the new, tradition with modernity. This contrast, in addition to the beautiful Spencer Pavilion (complete, like Hove, with hanging baskets), really places Wantage Road amongst one of the top grounds in the country. The cricket ground offers welcome relief to the otherwise almost entirely industrial town of Northampton, home to many businesses, shops and offices.
A quick reminder: the aim of this trip is to raise money for Shooting Star Chase Hospice, Middlesex CCC’s official charity partner, who do tremendous work in bettering the lives of children and their families for kids with terminal illnesses.
They need £9.5 million a year to maintain their brilliant service, and we would highly appreciate it if you could help them to continue their care, by donating here: