December 5 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, August 17, 2013
As England celebrate retaining the Ashes this summer another Australian cricket side has gone down in defeat... in a Norfolk village.
But this time the Poms v Aussies clash was between teams with more experience than most, as the cricketers were all over 70 years old.
Norfolk/Suffolk combined Spitfire over 70s played host to Australia over 70s cricketers at Old Buckenham.
The team is in the UK for 18 days and after playing three test matches wiht their English counterparts they decided they wanted to play the seven counties which have an over 70s cricket team.
And yesterday they paid a visit to Old Buckenham Cricket Club, where Norfolk/Suffolk over 70s hosted the friendly 45-over match.
Australia won the toss and chose to bat posting a score of 167-6 with the home team replying with 168-7.
Norfolk/Suffolk team captain, Chris Watson, said: “It’s very competitive out on the field. We have a lot of banter but we take the games very seriously.
“We wouldn’t do it unless we still enjoyed it. We don’t do it because we have to, we do it because we want to and we play whenever we can.”
Norfolk/Suffolk over 70s play 12-a-side and have a rolling substitute on the bench. But with no home ground to call their own, the team often face journeys of up to 100 miles for a home match.
Mr Watson, who has seven grandchildren and lives in Worlingworth, near Framlingham, said: “We formed a combined county team because neither Norfolk or Suffolk could find enough players over 70. This is our third season as a competitive team.
“Everyone makes jokes about Norfolk and Suffolk being at loggerheads but it has worked out incredibly well.
“I have played cricket since I was a boy and the only difference is a few more aches and pains and a few more moans and groans about my muscles.”
Vice-captain of Australia over 70s, Michael Willson, started playing cricket in 1957. “I have visited more than 40 countries but this is my first visit to the UK.
“Over 70s cricket is growing in Australia and our oldest player is 77. We have national championships every year.
“We have been really looking forward to playing on the village greens in the UK, they have a lot of character.”
Godfrey Cobb, known as Nobby, started playing cricket when he joined the Royal Air Force.
The grandfather of four from Bacton said: “My first posting with the RAF was to Australia. I played cricket out there for three years.
“At the moment we are trying to raise money to buy a defibrillator to travel around with us. One of our men collapsed on the field. We thought he’d had a heart attack but it was severe heat exhaustion.”
Anyone who would like to donate to the team’s defibrillator fund should email email@example.com