December 11 2013 Latest news:
Monday, August 12, 2013
While millions of cricket fans were yesterday glued to their screens to see how England fared in the latest chapter of the Ashes battle, a Norfolk crowd of sports devotees shunned their TVs to watch an array of test legends roll back the years.
There was a roll call of cricketing royalty including Devon Malcolm, Courtney Walsh, John Emburey, Saqlain Mushtaq, Mohammad Yousuf and Yasir Arafat at Cromer’s Norton Warnes ground as the all-stars from the Lashings World XI rolled in to town.
The match against a Cromer team was months in the making and the club painstakingly prepared the Overstrand Road ground for the arrival of the stars with hundreds of test appearances between them, who play in fund-raising fixtures across the globe.
Lashings batted first and the ball flew to all corners of the ground as the legends racked up a total of 321-8 in 35 overs in front of the appreciative crowd of 500 – the largest in the club’s history.
And there was plenty of support for the local side as they faced some of the world’s greats.
Cromer captain Tom Davies, who was the team’s top scorer with 50 runs and named man of the match, said it was a “surreal” experience playing against such big stars.
“When we first walked out there were a few butterflies and nerves but after a while you forget about who’s batting and concentrate on the ball, and what you have got to do, and try and move fielders about because they’re hitting it everywhere,” he said.
“And then all of a sudden you sit back and watch them play a shot totally out of this world and realise who you’re playing against.
“This is certainly the proudest day we’ve had and it’s a great experience.”
And while the skills of the Lashings team had many in the crowd awestruck, Cromer’s sporting prowess was not overlooked – particularly by their all-star competitors.
Former Pakistani test player Mohammad Yousuf, who was the Lashings’ top scorer with 168, said: “It’s a good batting track and good for bowling, especially for the attack bowlers.
“It’s a nice ground as well – small so you can make a lot of big runs.”
Ex-England star John Emburey also praised the home side bowlers and said it had been a “fantastic”
“We have had a great lunch and some great cricket,” he said. “Cromer bowled well but I think we saw an exceptional innings.
“It’s been a great atmosphere with the crowd, everyone’s enjoyed themselves and the balls have been flying all over the place.”
Right hand batsman and fast bowling Pakistani test match star Yasir Arafat added: “It’s great to play against a club side and it looks like a festival here, everyone’s enjoying themselves.
“For a club team they did exceptionally well.”
The match finished with Lashings winning by 142 runs. Cromer
finished on 179-9.
Cromer secretary John Graveling said it had been a “great honour” to host the top class team and he was pleased to see such a big crowd.
He added: “When we first thought about it we thought are we going to sell all the tickets?
“The intention was to show what the club can do and also for spectators to come and enjoy.
“We have had our own Ashes here.”