During a break in play at the Ashes Test, 'Beefy' reflected on Durham's double anniversary - ten years of Test matches and 21 years in the First Class of English cricket.
He said: "These are big times at Durham - it's remarkable how far it has come in such a short time from the days when I was playing first class cricket here in the first year at half a dozen grounds around the country like Hartlepool and Darlington.
"The first Test we played here against Zimbabwe was just ten years ago and now we have an Ashes Test at one of the best grounds in the country.
"If you turn the clock back further to when we first came into first class cricket playing with the likes of David Graveney, Dean Jones, Paul Parker, Andy Fothergill, Wayne Larkins, Graham Fowler, John Glendinning and Simon Brown we would never have thought that this would happen so quickly.
"It's terrific, its great for Durham and the academy is also producing good home grown players. It is all very much happening up here."
Having lived just 40 minutes away from the Emirates Durham ICG for nearly 30 years, Sir Ian said he regards the region as his home.
"The North East is probably as well supported sports-wise as anywhere else in the country. It can manage two premiership sides, a championship side and premiership rugby. It has great golf courses, it's got everything - rivers with fish in them - it is a wonderful place to live and I'm always banging the drum for cricket up here," he said.
Beefy has walked about 10,000 miles raising money for leukaemia research and it's profile.
And he reckons he has raised somewhere between £15 million and £20 million.
His John O'Groats to Lands End walks are as legendary as the man himself and the difference made is massive.
He said: "When we started the first walk in 1986 there was a 20% chance of survivial for youngsters with the most common form of leukaemia and that is now 92%."
Sir Ian is President of Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research and it's not just leukaemia research that benefits from his walking in the UK and overseas, including a hike over the Alps.
In November he will be walking through the jungles of Sri Lanka for the Laurens Sport for Good Foundation created after the Tsunami of 2004 and the countries civil war.