COMMENTATOR Charles Dagnall plans to keep a close eye on the fortunes of Frinton Cricket Club as they embark on the new Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League campaign.

The Test Match Special favourite was in town on Friday night and spoke at the annual gentleman's dinner at Frinton Golf Club.

He entertained members and guests with stories from his successful playing career with Warwickshire and Leicestershire and also spoke about his move into the broadcasting world, working for the BBC and also Sky Sports.

Afterwards he said how much he enjoyed his visit and was grateful for the warm welcome.

"I loved it," said the former right-arm fast-medium bowler.

"Club cricket is my absolute heart.

"I'm a club cricketer and still follow the progress of my old sides back in the Bolton League.

"I'm one of them at heart and never forget my roots in club cricket.

"I bond with them and if there's a funny story doing the rounds in club cricket I want to know about it.

"It's great seeing the idiosyncrasies within each club and the characters and personalities that make them tick.

"They're all so passionate about their club and wear their blazers with real pride.

"Some of them have been associated with their club and cricket in the area for a long time and that sort of thing matters."

Dagnall works on Test Match Special alongside the likes of BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew, Ashes-winning captain Michael Vaughan and England legend Sir Geoffrey Boycott.

And while he enjoys working at the top-end of the game, seeing it as a huge honour and privilege, he loves being booked to speak at club events.

"It's the hub of the community, like here at Frinton," he said.

"It's a place for people to watch the game we all love but also to meet new people, socialise and enjoy themselves.

"And because of that, I adore speaking to club cricketers.

"I'm as passionate about club cricket now as I ever have been.

"We may disagree on how the future of club cricket evolves but it's still a passion.

"We can always talk about things and that's why I love being at events like this.

"Clubs are all about people.

"It's the people that make any club, from the life members, captains and players to the under-eights and nines and their parents.

"It's all encompassing and they're fiercely proud of their club, what they do and what they've achieved.

"They want to introduce you to X or to Y or to Z and I want to meet them, because they're the lifeblood of our game and a club like Frinton."

Dagnall's only regret was not having time to visit Frinton's picturesque Ashlyns Road ground.

However, he says he will be keeping a close eye out for the club's fortunes next season, in the East Anglian Premier League.

"I'm so gutted I didn't get a chance to see the ground because I'm told it's absolutely glorious," he said.

"But I was given such a lovely welcome by everyone at Frinton.

"I'll keep an eye out for how they get on during the summer, to see how they're doing.

"I care now and it was deeply satisfying to be asked to speak at the dinner.

"You hope you go down well and that everyone likes what you say but overall you just want to meet like-minded people who share a passion for cricket."

Frinton begin their Premier League campaign with a home match against Great Witchingham on April 20.