A typical Friday night for me involves heading to a city centre bar straight from work for one drink… Then staggering in to a taxi clutching my cheesy chips a few bottles of wine later! I will never learn. However, a few weeks ago I was persuaded to try something different and I headed for Emirates Durham International Cricket Ground in Chester-le-Street to support Durham Jets.
I kept a close on the weather all day as it had been raining on and off but although it did delay the start of the game by 25 minutes, play was uninterrupted once it got going and Durham Jets were given the chance to christen the ground’s new floodlights.
After enjoying a hot pork sandwich from one of the food outlets I took my seat along with around 6000 others to see the Natwest T20 Blast home group fixture, Durham Jets vs Yorkshire Vikings.
I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’d never experienced twenty-20 cricket before but I was delighted to discover that it was fast paced and rather exciting, much more compelling than the test match cricket I’d seen on TV as a kid.
Many people had braved the cold in fancy dress outfits which certainly added to the atmosphere and one group of party goers watched the whole game from the comfort of a hot tub!
I was really impressed by the huge screen which showed slow motion replays, great for a newbie like me to keep up with what was going on and I have to say, the whole ground was looking stunning, especially once the flood lights came on. I bet there aren’t many other grounds that are overlooked by a stunning 14th century castle!
The game ended with a six run win for the mighty Durham Jets. The result meant that the Jets were top of the North Group with six points from four games and the home fans left in high spirits.
It was a great night out with a difference and I’d definitely recommend it, especially for families. Kids will love high-fiving the mascot and getting their face painted with team colours! There are two Natwest T20 Blast games in July, head to www.durhamccc.co.uk for details.
Thanks to Durham County Cricket Club for giving me the chance to enjoy a Durham Jets game with complimentary tickets, this post is based entirely on my personal opinion of the experience.
By Rachel Kershaw