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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 October, 2003, 07:10 GMT 08:10 UK
Famous Fan: Ian Gillan
Ian Gillan (pic:
Gillan first joined Deep Purple 34 years ago
Ian Gillan is one of the legendary voices of rock music, primarily as front man with Deep Purple.

He took time out from a tour to promote their latest album - Bananas - to explain his passion for cricket.

"There is a regular moment in the game which is matched by no other sport - when the players and spectators go silent as the bowler turns....."

Q. What is your first cricketing memory?

A. The Middlesex county side visiting Hounslow when I was about 10 years old - could have been a year or two on from that, not too sure - the pretty ground behind St. Paul's was wonderful.

Q. Which player was your childhood hero?

A. Bill Edrich. He was so gritty and seemed to be the kind of opening batsman that every Test side should have.

Bill Edrich batting for Middlesex
Middlesex and England's Bill Edrich provided boyhood inspiration
Q. Did you play cricket at school or for a club side?

A. School and later for pub/charity/knockabout games. Any good? Hmmmm...yes, of course, I was brilliant.

Q. Which current player do you most admire?

A. Michael Vaughan - because his enjoyment of the game, and hopefully his batting, seems to be surviving his appointment as captain.

I sense a joy of the game in his persona from which we all benefit.

Q. Which would you rather watch - a Test or a one-day international?

A. Without doubt a Test match, but in the absence of a real challenge then I enjoy a quick thrash-up like everyone else.

Q. Roy Harper wrote 'When an Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease'. Why aren't there more songs about cricket?

A. Because everything is moving so quickly and nobody has any time to think.

Q. Deep Purple's guitarist Steve Morse is an American - have you ever tried to tell him why cricket is better than baseball?

A. Have you ever tried to explain to an Eskimo that there is sunshine in the lower latitudes and he doesn't need to sit over a hole in the ice?

Steve Waugh
Australia have dominated the Ashes contests since 1987
Q. Australia are the best team in the world. What steps do England need to take in order to beat them in the next Ashes series?

A. I think we need some heroes, for the kids, and some dignity and grit and pride and professionalism for the public at large.

It is difficult, but not impossible, to improve when everything you do is being analyzed to the n'th degree. I think the players need to embrace the game, not the expectations.

I've been through some rough times in music and I have observed that when my confidence rises I tend to relax, and when I relax I definitely play better.

Q. If you could choose a Deep Purple track to be played in England's dressing room to inspire them before a game, which would it be?

A. Razzle Dazzle (from Bananas)....'It's a real fine line between an orgy of destruction and a wonderful time....!!!'

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