July 9, 2000

Chris Evans gives NatWest Series thumbs up

"Party atmosphere is great"

Chris Evans, the television and radio celebrity, is a keen cricket fan and came to Lord's hoping to enjoy a day's cricket. The lapse in play because of the weather gave him an opportunity to speak to our reporter Andy Jalil about his loveo f the came.

Chris said:" I played as a boy a lot but I had never been to an international match until I got invited here to Lord's on the Friday we got Windies out for 54 but I have always watched cricket on television.

" What I see in this one-day series is fantastic. I see there is a lot going on than just the cricket. To get the party atmosphere going with the innovations is just great especially if it's a nice sunny day and you are having jingles for wickets falling, boundaries, fifties and so on, it gives it a carnival atmosphere."

Cricket - "finest traditions"

He added: "I think it is fantastic that this series is sponsored and organised in the way it is. If you can get the interest of the younger people, the potential heroes of the future, then you are getting the spectators and the sport benefits and so do the sponsors. This is what helps to improve the young players and more and more come into the game."

Touching on the scandal that has engulfed cricket, he said:" My Dad was a bookie so I understand what has happened just as I understand horse-racing so well. But cricket is a resplendent game, played in the finest traditions yet it seems to be the most easy to corrupt which is such a shame.

"Cricket is a sport that is divided round the world and run by different boards and because of that it is difficult to control corruption. It is not like,say, motor racing which is controlled centrally. Cricket has to sort itself out and we hope with the inquires, it is all cleaned up."