Almost twenty-six thousand social media shares – 26,000! For a yarn about North Staffordshire league cricket!
Alright, it was about Shahid Afridi's half-season playing for Leek (and Little Stoke), but still, that's a lot of people to be introduced to Richard Harvey, David Edwards, 'Tracker' Johnson and others that helped put the story together.
It's a shame I couldn't include comments from Dave Fairbanks, Brian Mellor, Pete Wilshaw and a few others, or that more stories emerged (from Rob Haydon and Adrian Butters) after publication.
Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable piece to write (finally), and, judging by the reaction – and yes, I'm aware that Afridi is probably second only to Sachin in the list of most venerated cricketers these last couple of decades – an enjoyable one to read.
Oh, and if you want to see the skit from Bo Selecta! that I imitated when greeting Afridi to the crease (and the editors at cricinfo thought it best to exclude), here it is.
Staffordshire's Summer of Afridi