The Birch: Mercury guest editor quizzes ex-Leicestershire cricketer Paul Nixon
Birch: You are now ambassador of LCCC. I've been ambassador at Leicester City for 30-odd years. When you think of the talent of all the players that have been through the sides, isn't it a great honour to be bestowed upon us?
Nixon: Absolutely. Like you say, the first time I ever wore a Leicestershire blazer and having the fox on your sweater, I always thought I was an ambassador for the club anyway. But after the game, to have that honour and still be part of the club, and be associated with everything, is fantastic.
So then Nico, here we go. City or Tigers?
How can I choose between the two? I have to sit on the fence on that one.
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Sitting on the fence already. Not a good start. Okay then, beach or skiing?
I have just been skiing, but I do like going to the beach. I will go for beach.
What is your finest moment?
Without doubt, it was getting my England cap at the Gabba off Michael Vaughan in a huddle with the England boys. You just can't top that.
Who do you most admire in Leicestershire sport?
I think Martin Johnson takes some beating in terms of what he's done, as a young lad from the Harborough area who is respected at the top of his game, the way he handles himself, the way he goes about his business.
Who or what is your greatest love?
Having spent many years away from home over a 24-year career playing cricket, it is nice now to spend time with the other half. We had a real hard time getting our little one, Isabella, we had IVF a couple of times and all that sort of stuff. Isabella is very special, as everyone's little ones are. Aside from the family, I love driving fast cars. I love the buzz and adrenaline of driving fast cars on track days.
I like all types of music but I am really enjoying listening to Emily Sande at the minute.
Would you do I'm a Celebrity: Get Me Out Of Here?
Oh yes. That is right up my street. I would have done that 71 Degrees North where they went to Scandinavia. People say I should go on Strictly but dancing for eight weeks, my knees would be shot to pieces.
What was the first record you ever bought?
Yes Sir, I Can Boogie by Baccara.
Alton Towers or Rutland Waters?
What makes you laugh?
Everything. I laugh all the time. I've got a very dry sense of humour.
On the flipside, what makes you angry?
People who harm kids. That is the worst thing there is because kids haven't got a bad bone in their bodies.
Which team or athlete would you pay to see?
Michael Jordan. Always performed, an unbelievable athlete and a humble bloke.
Biggest sporting thrill of 2012?
Being in the Olympic Stadium watching Usain Bolt live. I was there for Mo Farah's 5,000 metres and Usain Bolt and the Jamaican team breaking the world record. That was absolutely unbelievable.
If you could change one thing in your sport, what would it be?
We would have an English Premier League. Like the IPL. We would have a 20/20 competition with city franchises with five overseas professionals.
Greatest moment in Leicestershire sport?
In 1997, we had won the County Championship, City had won the Coca-Cola Cup, Tigers had won the Pilkington Cup and Martin Johnson had brought back the Lions trophy.
Can LCCC get back to the top?
It's going to be really tough because small clubs have to get every ounce of money they can to survive off the ECB. We don't have the big finance like Test grounds, they have got £4-5million budgets compared to our £1.5m budget.
So realistically, how do you see the season coming up?
If Leicestershire finished third or fourth, I think it would be a good achievement. I think if they got to the quarter-finals of the T20 or the CB40 it would be a good achievement for now.
And finally, Nico, who is there to watch out for this season?
Niall O'Brien will be one to watch. He's a wicket- keeper/batsman, can smack it in one-day cricket and get big hundreds in four-day cricket.
Reporting by James Sharpe