Phil Stowe was delighted when he found out he would be seeing the best teams in the world this summer.
One lucky cricket fan is set to see every single match of the ICC Champions Trophy after securing tickets to all 15 mouth-watering ties.
Phil Stowe was delighted when he found out he would be seeing the best teams in the world at the Cardiff Wales Stadium, Edgbaston and the Oval this summer.
The cricket lover, who first picked up a love of the sport while playing at grammar school and watching when it was televised on the BBC, will be glued to the action when the tournament runs from June 1-18.
And he admits there’s one match he’s particularly looking forward to.
“India against Pakistan. I’ve been to some of these before and the atmosphere is something different,” he explained.
The avid Middlesex fan who has been going to matches since the 1970’s – and describes sitting on the grass at Lord’s for his first test match –averages almost 20 games every season for the past 30 years.
He lists his favourite players of all time as Sir Ian Botham and Phil Tufnell although his current cricketer of choice is Joe Root.
And Phil will be keeping a keen eye on the Yorkshireman’s performances when England take on Bangladesh in the tournament’s curtain-raiser at the Oval on June 1.
The Reading-based cricket lover is also hopeful the hosts can go one step further and win the competition after losing to India in the final in 2013.
He said: “For patriotic reasons, I hope its England. They’re playing quite well, and with home advantage.
“But I think it will be India again. Then again I saw England win the T20 in Barbados in 2010 and I didn’t think they would even get out of the group before I arrived there, so what do I know.”
Recalling his fondest cricketing memories, two particular matches are held very close to Phil’s heart.
Graham Gooch’s stunning knock of 333 and Kapil Dev’s four sixes into the Nursery End off of Eddie Hemmngs’ bowling at Lord’s in 1990 is something he will never forget.
Matthew Hoggard’s stunning hat-trick for England against the West Indies is also a fond memory with Phil describing the temporary stand as bouncing at the Kensington Oval in 2004.
Hopefully for Phil, and other cricket fans around the world, this year’s ICC Champions Trophy will provide plenty more fond memories to add to the list.