Heaven alone knows why this inn has the name it does, given that its a very long way from any cricket pitch.
No matter. Sitting on Selby’s main street, opposite the market square, you can see the abbey from the front windows and it’s long been described as the town’s local. Inside it’s all maroon leather button-backed settles, polished tables, and a roaring (and very welcoming) log fire. A wealth of cricketing memorabilia (prints, drawings, some shin-pads and bats) adds to the appeal and a barmaid called Gloria calls a pint glass a “pot”.
As a Sam Smiths house, there is a choice – you can either drink Sam Smiths or shove off somewhere else. I stayed and had a couple of exceptionally well-kept couple of pints of Old Brewery. The fact that they cost just £1.80 (no, that is not a misprint) would make any serious fan of beer beat a track to Selby. If you want wine, travel on….
The menu is short (check the serving times) but the freshly-made “pub grub” is comfort fare and none the worse for it. Generous portions, too. The regulars, are chatty, and Gloria seems to know most of them on first name terms. There’s banter and ribbing, and a nice mix of friendly people, not that feeling that you sometimes get when you enter a pub, of two dozen pairs of eye drilling into the back of your head, as a hush goes through the tap-room. The Cricketers, in short, seems to be saying “Hello, welcome, warm yourself, enjoy!”, so I did as I was bidden. In fact, when I got to the station and found that the homeward Hull trains service was cancelled, I returned to this agreeable little port in a storm to wait for the next one...
The Cricketer’s Arms, Market Lane, Selby, YO8 4PB. 01757 702120.