How Yorkshire CCC are reaching out to their elderly members during lockdown

Director of Cricket Martyn MoxonDirector of Cricket Martyn Moxon
Director of Cricket Martyn Moxon
If any Yorkshire members who receive a phone call from Martyn Moxon over the next week or two want to reminisce about days gone by, feel free to chew the fat over the 1987 Benson and Hedges Cup final against Northamptonshire at Lord’s.

For that nail-biting win, secured courtesy of fewer wickets lost with the scores tied on 244 after 55 overs apiece, is the director of cricket’s career highlight as a White Rose player.

Within the last week, Moxon, who scored 45 in that match, has started calling some Yorkshire members aged 70 and above or those feared to be lonely as the Coronavirus pandemic continues to keep people indoors and has forced the postponement of county cricket until at least May 28.

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So popular has the initiative been, which was initially Moxon’s idea, that chief executive Mark Arthur has also started taking on some calls.

“It’s just a goodwill gesture given the members haven’t got any cricket to watch at the minute,” explained the former England opening batsman.

“We would have been playing by now, with the first County Championship game starting on Sunday (it would have been Gloucestershire at Emerald Headingley). So we just felt that our older members who might have been looking forward to the cricket in particular and are alone, it would be a good idea to check in with them and answer any questions they might have.

“The conversation varies. But, by and large, it’s just checking they’re ok and getting food and there’s nothing that they’re short of. Also, from a cricketing point of view, if there’s anything they want to ask, we’ll chat about that.

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“To be honest, there’s not a lot we can tell them at the minute, but they might have queries on the furloughing process and what it means for the players.

“There is a bigger picture to all of this than just cricket. Like all sports, we’re waiting to be given the green light. But, at the end of the day, there’s thousands of people dying - and we just want our members to know we’re thinking of them.”

Moxon started calling members shortly before Yorkshire publicised their plans on social media.

“They may not be as shocked now, but when I first rang, they were quite surprised to hear from me. In a nice way,” he continued.

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“They’ve been very well received, and Mark’s got involved given we are getting quite a lot of people requesting calls.”

Asked whether any Lancashire fans have managed to request a call, he chuckled and said: “No, not yet. I think there is some kind of vetting process in place, though.”

So, if members want to talk about Moxon’s stellar career with Yorkshire and England through the eighties and nineties, there are a couple of memories he is more than happy to discuss and one he would rather not.

“From a Yorkshire point of view, winning the Benson and Hedges Cup final in 1987 is the highlight,” he said. “That was a fabulous day.

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“My England debuts would probably be my other highlights (ODI debut against India in Nagpur in 1985 and Test debut against New Zealand at Lord’s in 1986).

“Losing the B&H semi-final against Lancashire (by one wicket in 1996) at Old Trafford is probably the one which ranks as my worst moment in a Yorkshire shirt. Just don’t bring that one up!”

At the moment, Moxon has no clue as to how a shortened season’s schedule would look in 2020 and which competitions would be played.

But he added: “The ECB have told everyone what their priorities will be when they are able to start the season. But until we know when that is, it’s going to be very difficult to say what kind of cricket we actually play.

“As a club, we will do everything we can to get as much cricket played as we can in the time allowed.”