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Topley wants Colchester festival to flourish
Reece Topley has insisted that it is vital that the Colchester Cricket Festival survives in the future.
The Castle Park event survived a cull in 2011, following an extensive review of Essex County Cricket Club’s two festivals.
Southend Cricket Festival was axed after 105 years as a result of the changes, leaving the Colchester week the club’s only remaining festival.
A crowd of around 2,500 were at Castle Park for the opening day of the popular festival, which this year sees Essex take on Northamptonshire in an LV County Championship division two match.
And seamer Topley - who grew up playing at the venue for Colchester and East Essex - says it is imperative that the festival remains.
“I think the Colchester Cricket Festival is massively important.
“This will probably be the busiest County Championship game we’ll see “It’ll attract a massive crowd and having these games here are crucial, because they can attract more fans to come and watch the cricket.
“If the Colchester Cricket Festival was to be binned off then it would be terrible and it’s very important we keep it.
“You’re always likely to get a good wicket at Castle Park and there’s a great set of fans who come and watch.”
Topley has plenty of experience of playing at picturesque Castle Park, having learnt his trade there over the years.
The 6ft 7in tall pace bowler is looking forward to playing in front of both friends and family there this week, which culminates in a YB40 match against Derbyshire Falcons, on Sunday.
Topley said: “It’s a ground that I hold quite close to my heart.
“It’s always very exciting with a great outfield and it’s a phenomenally attractive ground.
“There’s the river and the trees and the iconic old pavilion.
“I played junior cricket all my life but I’ve only played one professional game here.
“Being from the area, a lot of my friends will be there and a lot of the club supporters will be here, so it’ll be nice to perform in front of them.”
Topley knows that it is important that Essex beat Northamptonshire this week, if they are to keep their promotion hopes on track.
He added: “We’re playing against a team who are just above us in the table.
“We’re 30 points behind Northants which is almost one win away.
“It’s crucial that we drag them back.
“If we want to achieve promotion this year, then this is the game we’ve got to win.
“It won’t be the end if we were to lose this game and there are plenty of games and points still to be won.
“But it would be good if we were to win.”
For all of the latest Essex cricket news, see the Daily Gazette.
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