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My Cricket Memories 8

Despite working in the football industry for the past 20+ years, cricket has always been my true passion. My love affair with the game was heavily influenced by my dad.

My dad was a decent player in his own right (played at University back in the late 50s) and although he never continued playing past his twenties, whilst on family camping holidays when I was very young, he used to smash me and by brother and sister all over the park.  I have very vivid memories of him turning the bat upside down and continuing to smash us all around using the handle of the bat much to my annoyance (and his entertainment). This has been a trait I have used on both my sons when they were very young. In our family, it’s part of growing up.

In football, there is a belief that true football fans never forget the first game they ever went to. I’m not sure it’s the same in other sports, but at the age of nine, my dad took me to Trent Bridge for my first ‘live’ cricket game, the opening day of the Ashes Test. The Queen was there as part of her Silver Jubilee celebrations and it was also the debut of a certain I.T. Botham. He took a fifer that day, which if I remember rightly, included the wickets of Greg Chappell and Rodney Marsh. Pretty hard to forget! Botham has been my cricketing hero ever since.

I started playing competitively at the age of 12 and whilst showing some promise in my teens, I never got past the trials at Grace Road (although I did play a Lord’s Taverners Final there for the school back in the 1980s – it was such a memorable experience to play at Grace Road). I settled for a very mediocre career playing in the Leicestershire Cricket Leagues for Birstall Village CC where I am now Secretary.  I was totally unmemorable as a player in local cricket; I never scored a hundred, I never ripped through a team with my right arm mediums, but I scored the odd 50, took the odd fifer, took the odd one hander at cover or in the slips. But I loved everything about the game (and still do). I loved to bowl, I loved to bat, I particularly loved fielding. Most of all, I loved the social aspect to cricket: the banter, the teamwork, the competitiveness and the camaraderie.

Despite a career working in football, it was always an ambition to one day work in cricket and I was humbled and honoured to have been invited onto the Board in 2019. I am very proud to be from Leicestershire and as a cricket lover, it broke my heart to see the club almost slide away in recent years. It has been an incredibly challenging introduction to the world of cricket and we have faced so many hurdles in the past 12 months, but I love a challenge, I love an underdog, and I genuinely believe, with some incredibly hard work, the help of our Members, our supporters, the local business community, our staff, players and coaches, that we can turn this club around.

Chris Tinbergen – Board Director

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