It’s great to welcome the Cup back to
Christ Church in Southgate’s cricket ground, because the Walker family,
who were big cricketers for England in the Victorian times, one of
their daughters married the then Vicar of the smaller church and by way of a
wedding present made a major contribution to build our new church – so
it’s almost funded by the cricket, because this is still the Walker Ground.
There’s a very close association because I think every time
there’s a cricket Cup here and there is a picture of the cricket ground, we’re always the church in the background. Bishop Julian, is this your first time at
the Church Times Cricket Cup final? Yes, it is. And of course it’s the first time for Blackburn to be involved in a final for nearly 60 years. So, definitely important to come and be here and support. Is this your first time at the Church Times Cricket Cup? It is, yes. How are you finding it? It’s a good day. Enjoying learning about cricket, finding out about the scoring system. Where have you come from today? I’ve come down from Blackpool, to support. I was terrible at cricket at school. I always saw cricket in those days as someone described it as hours and hours of boredom punctuated by moments of intense danger. But I’ve changed my mind completely and I think, as I’ve got older, I think cricket is a lovely game to watch and it’s actually quite a relaxing activity – well, sometimes it can be a bit nerve-wracking, but generally, you know… London is a very dominant team. Do you think you’ll win this year? Yes. I am confident. Three dioceses have come together to take us on but we feel confident we’ve got a strong side, we’ve got a good bowling side. When it comes to Church Times [Cup], if you don’t have a weak change in bowling, you’re doing well. and I think we’ve got a good bowling side and we’ve got about three or four really good bats so I think we’ll be OK. Pat Allerton, London opening batsman.
You did well – 72, I think? 72, yeah. 28 too few. Are you pleased with that overall? I’ve been looking to perform in one of these finals for a number of years now always falling short. So, nice to be
able to contribute, but a disappointing end. I broke my rule of hitting it in the
air and getting caught. So Paul, it’s after lunch and where we up to? Well, we’re in the last 10 overs of the London innings and they’ve got a good score – it’s 183 at the moment. In previous finals, that’s been enough to win the match, so it’s going to set a quite high target for the CBD team. But it turns on an over, and
we’re waiting for the post-lunch dip. Normally, after a good Church Times Cricket Cup Final lunch times, it slows them down a bit. But it’s still all to play for. London have set quite a high total [297 for 4]. How do you fancy your chances? Am I meant to be honest or bullish? Ben Stokes and Jack Leach have
given us hope that we only need one of our 11 to win the game for us – and that’s always possible, isn’t it? Somebody fell out at the last moment and
I do play for the team occasionally when I can and I have
actually played on this pitch once before in the Church Times Cup final
some years ago. And so it’s lovely to be here again. I was going to be here anyway supporting the team and it’s rather nice
to be here in my capacity as 12th man. And how do you fancy your chances against London? Well, I think it would be over-optimistic
to say that we’re likely to win but I’m looking forward to the game. Carlisle/Blackburn/Durham are 110 for 5 after 27 overs. Their top scorer, Wills, just got out for 63, a very good knock. It’s slowing down a bit now, we just had a wicket maiden. So, it’s looking good for London. London, you missed this off your shelf last year. But we’ve given it a polish, and, Chris, I’m very happy to present it to you.