Bumble’s new book - David Lloyd discusses some of his favourite cricketers

One of David's proudest moments was presenting the Rolling Stones with commemorative cricket bats ba

One of David's proudest moments was presenting the Rolling Stones with commemorative cricket bats backstage at a gig at Old Trafford - Credit: not Archant

Lancashire cricket legend David Lloyd celebrates some of the greatest players he’s encountered.

Bumble's new book, Simply the Best, is out this month

Bumble's new book, Simply the Best, is out this month - Credit: not Archant

England’s dramatic victory at last year’s World Cup gave cricket a huge boost, with clubs across the country seeing a surge in interest. But although Covid stopped play before this season could get started in the spring, David Lloyd is optimistic for the future of the sport in Lancashire.

He believes there is a real desire from people across the county to get back on the pitch. ‘During the lockdown, I’ve seen so many pictures of people playing in garden and on driveways and parks,’ he said. ‘The amount of interest in cricket – and in sport generally – is really encouraging. Golf clubs were in the doldrums, but now they’re having to turn people away.

‘Cricket clubs have missed out on subs and bar takings, but they have very few overheads, so hopefully they’ll all going to be able to carry on. There’s certainly the interest out there – the numbers watching England on television have been amazing.

‘I think club cricket is fine – what I’ve seen on social media shows there is a real thirst to get back to playing the game from people of all ages.’

David Lloyd with another Lancashire cricketing great, Michael Atherton, in a West Indies rum shack

David Lloyd with another Lancashire cricketing great, Michael Atherton, in a West Indies rum shack - Credit: not Archant

Lloyd – who is known to everyone in the game as Bumble because of a less than flattering comparison with the Bumblies, characters in a 1960s children’s television programme – started and finished his career with his home town team, Accrington. He made his debut there as a 15-year-old and returned after 18 years with Lancashire where he established himself as useful all-rounder and caught the eye of the England selectors. He played nine Test Matches in the mid-70s and featured for the One Day side one and off until 1980.

After hanging up his bat he had spells coaching Lancashire and England, before he moved into commentary with BBC’s Test Match Special and then joined the Sky TV team where viewers have become familiar with his dry Lancastrian wit and excitable commentary style.

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Speaking to Lancashire Life during a break in play at Old Trafford during England’s Test series against the West Indies, he added: ‘These Test matches are strange – it’s odd seeing the fielders climbing up in the stands to find balls, and being able to hear everything the players are saying – but for the players there’s not much difference. They do get lifted by the atmosphere and noise, but they are there to do a job, whether there’s a crowd there or not.’

And Lloyd, who now lives at Bramhall in Cheshire, has also brought out books pretty regularly since he stopped coaching, with the latest, ‘Simply the Best’, coming out this month.

‘It’s some of the most influential, talented, entertaining and inspirational characters I have come across from when I was a little lad with dreams through to what I do now,’ he added.

‘I think Don Bradman was the best of all time and I was lucky enough to meet him at the centenary Test in Australia in 1976. I wanted to call the book ‘The Don and Other Thes’ with each chapter being The Ben, The Steve and so on but the publishers didn’t like that and so it’s called Simply the Best.

‘It’s almost chronological from when I was 12 or 13 growing up in Accrington to the great names at Lancashire – Brian Statham, Geoff Pullar, Jack Bond, Jack Simmons, through to more recent players like Glen Chapple, Andrew Flintoff and Jimmy Anderson and others from around the world.

‘This is a fantastic area for cricket and there have been plenty of local lads who have represented the county. It’s always special to see young players come through from across the North West. The club know they have a responsibility to do that and they do it well.’

Bumble’s World Xi

This team of players who appear in David’s new book features seven Englishmen, three West Indians and one Australian. ‘And he’s flipping lucky, he’s only in there because I know him.’

Graeme Fowler: One of my great muckers at Old Trafford and a seriously good player

Viv Richards: One of the best batsmen I have ever seen

Brian Lara: Superb hand-eye co-ordination. One of the best batters on the planet at the time

Kevin Pietersen: He really got people on the edge of their seat

Andrew Flintoff: An iconic player for Lancashire and England

Sir Garry Sobers (Captain): A wonderful person and a fantastic cricketer

Jonny Bairstow (Wicket keeper): I was good mates with his dad, so this is a bit of selfish pick

Fred Trueman: One of my all-time heroes. A proper Yorkshire curmudgeon

Shane Warne: He’s extraordinary. He’s in his 50s now but he behaves like he’s in his 20s

Bob Willis: He was a magnificent bloke and a really good bowler. The book is dedicated to him

James Anderson: England’s best ever bowler and a lovely lad

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