Bowled over by working with a cricketing hero

Hoggy coaching

There’s a common belief that you should never meet your idols, as you’ll only end up being disappointed.

Thankfully, we’ve been able to shatter they myth in recent weeks. We’ve had the pleasure of teaming up with Ashes-winning paceman Matthew Hoggard for the launch of his new venture with an existing client of ours, the City Cricket Academy in Leicester.

As keen cricketers we were thrilled at the prospect of working with a true legend of the modern game, someone who has helped catapult English cricket into the sporting stratosphere and given fans across the country a series of real ‘I was there’ moments.

I was there in Barbados when Hoggy took a hat trick against the West Indies, I was there when he helped us win the Ashes in 2005 and last week I was there to help launch www.hoggycricket.co.uk – a new company aimed at taking talented young cricketers on tours across the world to work on their game and learn from the best coaches in the finest facilities.

Hoggy bowling Hoggy, of course, was there. So too was former England wicket keeper Paul Nixon and  current England ladies star Sonia Odedra. All were only too keen to help.

It can be difficult dealing with celebrities when there’s TV cameras around. Some shy  away, some indulge their inner diva. Hoggy was simply a good lad.

Nothing was too much trouble, he had a laugh and a joke when appropriate and was the  consummate professional when needed.

Hoggy even had a bowl, sending me into the nets at close quarters to film the whole thing  and take some pictures for his Facebook page. As the ball whizzed past by ear at  seemingly 80mph I had my doubts as to the plausibility of this idea but we got some great  results and good fun was had by all.

It was refreshing to see a sports star show such goodwill and humility. All too often we hear reports of athletes, predominantly footballers but also golfers, cricketers, rugby players and stars from pretty much every sport, behaving badly. It’s important to remember that they’re not all bad. The good guys deserve publicity too.