Golden summer momentum won’t be lost, predicts Yorkshire’s Martyn Moxon

MARTYN MOXON believes that the momentum generated by cricket’s golden summer of 2019 will not be lost because of the coronavirus crisis.

Martyn Moxon.

The Yorkshire director of cricket is confident that the surge of interest created by the World Cup and Ashes will not go to waste.

It is ironic that one of the greatest summers in the game’s history is set to be followed by one of its worst, but Moxon said: “I think the momentum created will withstand the crisis.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“We’ve seen what happened last year being replayed on TV recently, and people are still getting enjoyment from watching it now.

“The World Cup final and obviously the Ashes Test at Headingley in particular… it was absolutely fantastic and will live in the memory for a long time to come. I think that last year is perhaps sinking in now more for people – they’ve had some time to think and reflect – so I don’t think the momentum will be lost at all.”

If anything, Moxon hopes that the enforced break may increase people’s enthusiasm for the sport.

There will be no cricket played until May 28 at the earliest, but the likelihood is that the season will not start for sometime after that – assuming that it even starts at all.

“In a strange way, it might actually increase people’s enthusiasm for cricket because we’ll be so keen to get back playing and watching,” he added.

“I think the public will be delighted just to see some live sport again – whether it be cricket, football, or whatever – so it might work in our favour in a strange kind of way.

“There will be a lot of excitement, I think, when the game does restart, with people having been cooped up at home for so long.

“It might recharge people’s batteries and enthusiasm and there might be some positives to come out of it, I hope, while I think that youngsters inspired by what they saw last year will still want to take up the game and emulate their heroes.”

Moxon has personally experienced the enthusiasm for cricket to resume during phone conversations with Yorkshire members.

Both he and Mark Arthur, the club’s chief executive, have been ringing isolated, elderly members during the crisis to keep them engaged – a magnificent gesture sure to have been appreciated.

“That’s something that’s come out of the phone conversations I’ve had with the members – how desperate they are to get back to watch some cricket,” said Moxon. “They obviously love the game and want to see the game resume, and it’s been good to talk to them and to check that they’re doing okay .

“We said from the outset of this crisis that we wanted to keep the members engaged, if you like, given that we’re not playing any cricket, and I think that the calls have been well received.

“People were pleasantly surprised to get a call, I think, so it’s all good and a way of trying to support our members at this difficult time.”

The Yorkshire players continue to train at home off their own backs, with the club having taken advantage of the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme through which staff can be furloughed and up to 80 per cent of their monthly salaries covered.

“The lads all seem ok,” said Moxon. “Nothing has changed. The situation is what it is so they’re just cracking on doing what they can do and waiting, really, like the rest of us.

“We’re keeping in regular touch with them and making sure that they’re all all right.

“Obviously, as professional sportsmen, and particularly the young ones, they’re absolutely chomping at the bit to get playing as soon as they can.

“It can’t come soon enough, really, so fingers crossed that the national situation improves and we can get on top of this virus.”