Why this has been a wonderful summer of cricket (no matter what happens at The Oval)

England may not have won the Ashes, but it’s still been a memorable summer for cricket fans old and new

By Tim Gibson

Something magical happened last Sunday evening. I was in the garden, mowing lawns, tying up gone-over hollyhocks and plucking runner beans from their vines.

    While the result wasn’t by any means what I hoped for...the occasion itself was, quite simply, wonderful.  

The children were mooching about, kicking the occasional football or helping with light weeding duties.

Inside the house, the smell of supper and a cool pint of low-alcohol beer, poured fresh from the fridge and set on the kitchen counter for me to sip between chores.

And emanating from the open back door was the gentle burble of Test Match Special, Jonathan Agnew and company chatting through the final stages of England’s defeat in the fourth Ashes test.

While the result wasn’t by any means what I hoped for (I held onto the thought that England would find a way to secure a draw and take the series to a decider at The Oval), the occasion itself was, quite simply, wonderful.

Why? Because until earlier this summer, cricket wasn’t a part of my routine in any way. I’d worked on newspapers with people who spent the summer months glued to radios, speaking excitedly about “outside edges” or “leg-before wickets”. But I just couldn’t see the fascination.

How could anyone be obsessed by a game that went on for so long without any apparent action?

Then a friend invited me to a one-day match at our local county cricket ground. My six-year-old son became instantly hooked on the spectacle before him. His enthusiasm ignited my enthusiasm, and since then this summer has been all about cricket in our household.

When not watching or listening to county and international matches, we’ve been in the garden batting and bowling, taking it in turns to commentate on imagined matches in which we play a leading role.

And thanks to the brilliant initiative that is All Stars Cricket, my son has been able to cut his teeth in the game at a very young age, further inspiring his new passion.

All of which meant that by the time of the thrilling World Cup Final in July, which England won in such dramatic fashion, we were well and truly hooked. The whole family crowded around the television to watch Ben Stokes’s heroics, jumping around and yelling when England chalked up the winning run with the very last ball of the match.

    Even when the England players haven’t been victorious, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience of following their exploits...  

Such excitement was replicated at the end of the third Ashes test at Headingley. We hunched over the radio and lived every ball, finally cheering with exultation when Ben Stokes once again delivered the good stuff.

Even when the England players haven’t been victorious, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience of following their exploits remotely: on a beach in Dorset during the second test, sat in a supermarket car park during the first test. And last Sunday, of course, as a quintessentially English accompaniment to our horticultural endeavours.

There is something elemental about following the cricket during the warm months of summer. It feels as if it gets to the very heart of our identity as a nation. And this year, thanks to all the drama of the World Cup and the Ashes, has been the perfect season to discover the sport.

So it is that we find ourselves preparing for the final weekend of the Ashes with a sense of cheer, regardless of the outcome. It’ll be great if England win the match and level the series. But whatever happens, 2019 will live forever in our minds as the year we caught the cricket bug.

Judging by our newfound enthusiasm for the game, I don’t think we’re ever likely to be cured.

Published: 13 September 2019

© 2019 Just Recruitment Group Ltd

If you enjoyed this article, you may like: Six ways to keep the summer spirit alive

You may also enjoy: Why it’s time you got into country music (and eight albums to help)

Jobs currently available

New job
Assistant Branch Manager
Sector: Sales
Salary: £29,000 - £30,000 per annum
Location: Chelmsford, Essex
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909854
About the role

Just Recruitment is seeking an enthusiastic Assistant Branch Manager to join a company based in Chelmsford.

This is an excellent opportunity to join a growing organisation - offering a competitive salary and company bonus. Monday to Friday, 7.30am - 5pm and every other Saturday morning - overtime is paid. 

Free parking.

Company bonus scheme.

Previous experience within a Builders / Plumbers merchants is essential.

Personal attributes:

  • A hard-working polite team player.
  • A self-motivated person who understands the importance of getting the job done and/or responding to the customer as promised, and on time.
  • Should be punctual, well presented and like to operate in a clean and tidy manner.
  • Positive with a friendly "can do" attitude.
  • A good listener who is keen to learn, develop new skills and "get on" in the business.
  • Thoughtful and resourceful, someone who enjoys solving problems.
  • Real ambition and a desire to succeed would be beneficial as the role offers excellent opportunities to progress in the future. 
Read more
New job
Project Manager
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: £30,000 - £40,000 per annum
Location: Sudbury Suffolk
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909743
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Project Lead / Manager to join a company based in Sudbury Suffolk, on a fixed-term contract basis.

You will be an experienced project manager working with one of the company’s strategic suppliers, to move key electrical raw material components from their facility in the UK to the one in Romania.

The project manager will be the key liaison between the supplier and the company and is expected to keep the supplier on track with the expectations and standards of the team.

Candidate requirements:

You will have experience in working within a manufacturing environment and moving either manufacturing lines or supply lines across borders.

You will also have Medical device or Pharmaceutical experience.

We are looking at 6-12 month fix term contract with relevant notice periods.

Salary is negotiable depending on experience.

Read more
New job
Part-time Administrator
Sector: Public Service and Administration
Salary: Competitive depending on experience
Location: Sudbury
Role: Part Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909844
About the role

Just Recruitment is looking for an Administrator on behalf of a company based in Sudbury.

The role involves being part of a small and friendly team on a part-time basis, working 2-3 days per week.

Duties to include:

  • Opening post
  • Franking post
  • Greeting clients
  • Answering telephone
  • Banking procedures
  • Filing
  • Setting up new client files (electronic and paper)
  • Maintaining current client files (electronic and paper)
  • Assisting with the smooth running of systems
  • Monitoring books in / books out
  • Liaising with other branches
  • Client billing
  • GDPR and Money Laundering paperwork (a strong understanding of this is essential)

May evolve to include other duties and responsibilities.

Read more
Designer
Sector: Creative Arts and Design
Salary: £25,000 - £30,000 per annum
Location: Colchester
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909835
About the role

Are you a skilled designer looking for your next role?

Do you have luxury branding/magazine experience – including motion graphics (aftereffects) & digital design (social media etc)?

As a creative team member, you will be required to contribute to the wider creative thinking of a business based in Colchester, improving designs or presentations whilst working to tight deadlines.

You will be required to work in collaboration with the wider studio team and furthermore with the other departments across the business to produce the best possible outcome for each project worked on.

You will also be contributing towards the design presentations, so attention to detail and high standards in your work is a must.

Job responsibilities:

  • Creation of high-quality concept designs for necessary projects.
  • To work alongside the studio team to understand the project requirements and deliver them in accordance with the written brief.
  • To liaise and communicate effectively with the Client Services team to ensure the desired outcome is reached and the creative output complies with the needs of any marketing and strategic requirements.
  • Supporting the Creative Director and Head of Creative in bringing branding, design themes and relevant creative projects to life.
  • Responsible for managing and organising allocated projects efficiently and meeting their necessary deadlines.
  • To contribute to the delivery of client, new business or pitch presentations.
  • Any other ad-hoc duties required by the Creative Director or Head of Creative.

Person specification:

  • A relevant degree or similar level/achievement.
  • A previous position held within a similar role.

Knowledge and skills:

  • Highly proficient in Adobe Creative Software – InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Acrobat and AfterEffects.
  • Ability to multi-task various goals and objectives.
  • Deadline driven.
  • Excellent planning and organisational skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Exceptional attention to detail.

Personal qualities:

  • A strong team player.
  • Ability to work to tight deadlines.
  • An ambitious and driven individual.
  • Be able to work under pressure to meet in deadlines.

This is an excellent opportunity for a creative individual to join a fast-paced organisation on the outskirts of Colchester.

Offering a great package - depending on skills and experience - free parking is available on site.

Read more