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Last Updated: Friday, 8 August, 2003, 09:12 GMT 10:12 UK
Famous Fan: Hugh Cornwell

Hugh Cornwell
Cornwell now pursues a solo career
Hugh Cornwell, former lead singer of The Stranglers, talks to BBC Sport about his passion for cricket.

Cornwell, who lives in the West Country, went over to New York recently to record his new album with legendary producer Tony Visconti.


Hugh is the latest figure under the spotlight for our Famous Fan feature.


Q: What was your first cricketing memory?

A: I initially became interested in cricket because my dad used to listen to Test Match Special.

I was fascinated by the commentary and persuaded him to take me to Lord's where I used to hang around after games trying to get the autographs of all the players.

I had just begun to fall in love with the game when I discovered England spinner Fred Titmus also went to my school and then I was hooked.


Q: Which player was your childhood hero?

A: It would have to be Ted Dexter.

He was a real icon for me and when he walked out to bat I always thought he looked like a dashing knight going out to do battle.


Q: Were you a good cricketer yourself?

Ali Brown
Catching Ali Brown in the slips was a great thrill

A: As a youngster I was never really that good - if you are of mediocre ability like me - you don't get a chance to play although I used to keep wicket for a bit.

Now I play for the Bunberries and had the pleasure of opening with Robert Key last year although at the time I did not know who he was.

I have also batted with Andy Symonds and once got Ali Brown out with a blinding catch in the slips.

My next big game is this Sunday when we are playing against an Eric Clapton XI.


Q: What is your best score with the bat?

A: I've scored in the 20s a few times but I'm still looking for that elusive century.


Q: What do you think of the attempts to sex up cricket using Atomic Kitten?

A: When Channel Four first got the cricket contract I thought they sexed up really well, using all the new technology. But I hate the way they now leave the cricket halfway through a game to put the racing on or even that terrible programme Hollyoaks.


Hugh Cornwell
Technology makes cricket both fairer and more exciting

Q: Did you ever play live at a cricket ground?

A: No I'm still waiting for that phone to ring - if Jules Holland can do it then why can't I?


Were any of your songs inspired by cricket?

No - not so far - I try to keep cricket as a hobby.


Q. Which county/country do you support?

A. I was an avid Middlesex fan as a child but nowadays I much prefer watching internationals because the standard is so much higher. I think people forget what a huge gulf there is between the two.


Q: So is the Cornwell residence a "House Of Sorrow" after England lose?

A: Absolutely - I love to see England do well although the outlook isn't great this season. It is a transitional period for them now that Nassar Hussain has stepped down.

Michael Vaughan should do okay so long as he picks his own team. I am a huge fan of Andrew Flintoff because he's a winner.


Q: What would help cricket out if it wants to compete with other sports?

A: I think they should go down the road of technology. I think this makes it both fairer and more exciting.

Too many players are being adjudged to be out when they clearly aren't.

Until they sort this out by having an extra umpire or more cameras around the wicket people will not take the game seriously.




SEE ALSO
Famous Fan: Bindya Solanki
09 Jul 02  |  Cricket
Famous Fan: Ian Carmichael
24 Oct 01  |  Cricket
Famous Fan: Jeremy Paxman
09 Oct 01  |  Cricket
Famous Fan: David Troughton
18 Jul 00  |  Cricket
Famous Fan: John Kettley
10 Jul 00  |  Cricket


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