For details on how to contact our editorial and commercial departments, click here
Ashes Diary: How many England captains can you fit in a cricket ground?
NEVER can so many former England cricket captains have been in the North-East at the same time.
The media centre at Emirates Durham ICG has been like a who's who of the English game during the duration of this Test match, with a succession of former greats lining up to give their views on the action in the middle.
Geoffrey Boycott, Sir Ian Botham, David Gower, Mike Gatting, Nasser Hussain, Alec Stewart, Michael Vaughan – they've all been at Chester-le-Street, not to mention Graham Gooch, who is now a senior member of the England coaching staff.
The biggest draw in terms of spectator interest has not been English though, with Australian legend Shane Warne commanding a great deal of attention whenever he has wandered through the public areas.
Warne, who was responsible for arguably the most famous Ashes delivery of all time, successfully reprised his wonder ball in the indoor nets over the weekend, clean bowling Hussain to the amusement of the assembled Sky technicians.
Sadly, Warne has not been accompanied by his fiancee, Liz Hurley, who has remained in the pair's Herefordshire home, although the former spinner's presence down south has clearly been missed.
Hurley tweeted: “What a night trying to sleep with noisiest sheep ever in a field right outside my bedroom.” Doesn't she know she's meant to count them?
CRICKET fans have travelled from far and wide to watch the North-East's first Ashes Test match, but the prize for the longest journey could well go to former Witton-le-Wear resident John Short.
John is now based in Tokyo, Japan, but when Durham were awarded an Ashes Test more than two years ago, he pledged to arrange a trip home so it coincided with the cricket.
The trip took some organising, as it was initially thought Durham would host the second Test of the series rather than the fourth, but having travelled halfway across the world, John was able to take his seat in the County Durham Stand alongside his father, Ed.
So how easy is it to keep in touch with the Test match in Tokyo? “They're not really into their cricket over there,” said John. “But I check the scores when I get up on a morning. Just after I've logged on to The Northern Echo website to see that Newcastle haven't signed anyone again.”
KEEN to show off the picturesque scenery that surrounds their Riverside ground, Durham have teamed up with Inntravel, a company that specialises in walking holidays, to create the 'Riverside Walk'.
The walk, which starts next to the outdoor training nets on the south side of the ground, leads spectators down towards the River Wear and ends at a serene grassed area that is doubling up as a picnic site. Rugs are even available.
There are also a host of garden games, including kwik cricket, boules and croquet, and giant versions of Jenga and Connect Four.
As they have no chance of regaining the Ashes, perhaps the Australian players should be challenging their English opponents at one of those.
WITH the rain finally arriving during yesterday's lunch interval, spectators were looking for something to warm them up.
So while the queues at the bars were still as long as ever, plenty of people headed to the giant inflatable teapot that is floating above the Yorkshire Tea stand.
Yorkshire Tea are one of English cricket's official sponsors, and with some Ashes specials on offer yesterday, it wasn't just the action on the field that was coming to the boil.
A GROUP of Middlesbrough footballers were in attendance on Sunday, no doubt watching the cricket with a warm glow after their success at Charlton the day before.
One man wouldn't have enjoyed the sight of Ian Bell compiling his century though. Boro's Aussie skipper, Rhys Williams, has copped a fair bit of stick so far this summer – no doubt he was on the receiving end of some more at the weekend.
Comments are closed on this article.