Not The Spin (Issue 10)

Published: 2022
Pages: 40
Author: Brodkin, Stuart, Lomax, Ian, Cavanagh, Roy and Higham, Andy (Editors)
Publisher: Lancashire Action Group
Rating: 5 stars

The battle for the soul of Lancashire County Cricket Club continues. I suppose some might feel that the fact that their efforts to bring some democracy to what is, after all, a member’s club, have so far borne little fruit suggests that the Lancashire Action Group has not been a success. There may well be a degree of truth in that, but the fact that the membership of the club is now around 4,000, down from more than three times that figure less than two decades ago, is the strongest possible evidence that all remains far from well at Old Trafford and that something needs to change.

So, in the Group’s eighth year, it is a good time to take stock and reflect on what has been accomplished so far and look at its aims for the future, and that is what Ian Lomax does in the centre pages of NTS10. In fact, in terms of an improvement in the facilities on offer to members a good deal has been achieved, but the long term aim remains to secure real structural change and a voice for the membership. This summary, along with an editorial that represents a strongly worded critique of a lengthy email from the club chairman to members (reproduced in full) will satisfy all who want to understand what the Group are about

Elsewhere in NTS10 the fact that the remaining members at Old Trafford have something to be concerned about is confirmed by an interesting comparison between what Lancashire offers its members and the position of Surrey members. The differences are marked and, presumably as a consequence of that, membership at The Oval has doubled over the last dozen years.

Some of the contributions to NTS10 are, as always, pure nostalgia and will appeal to anyone with an interest in Lancashire cricket history. In that category are Stuart Brodkin on Johnny Briggs and Paul Fitzpatrick on Bob Barber but, perhaps, most enjoyable of all is a look back at a remarkable Benson and Hedges cup match at The Oval in 1993 when, needing 25 runs from 35 deliveries with nine wickets in hand, Surrey managed to lose all nine whilst adding just 18 runs. Finally in this category is a piece by Garry Clarke on the subject of the various out grounds the county have used over the years.

From grounds we move back to a more ‘political’ agenda and the first detailed article I have read about plans for Lancashire to build a new ground at Faringdon, a village not far from Preston, which will become the Red Rose’s second home. Not entirely unrelated is a separate piece that bemoans the loss of the Aigburth ground in Liverpool from the county’s fixture list in 2022.

NTS10 appearing during the football season there is, naturally, a look back at the season just gone from Roy Cavanagh, who also spends a page of the magazine extolling the virtues of Cricket Societies. In addition there are a few shorter pieces and a quiz, success at which needs two things, a love for Lancashire cricket, and an encyclopaedic recollection of last summer.

Overall it is great a pleasure to see that NTS10 fully lives up to the lofty expectations created by its predecessors and whilst its interest to those who have no Lancastrian sympathies will be necessarily limited they should still find something of interest. For we Lancastrians on the other hand NTS10 is required reading, and most certainly five star stuff.

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