Crump returns in all-star cast

Former King's Lynn favourite Jason Crump heads an all-star cast list in tonight's live televised Elite League Riders' Championship at the Norfolk Arena.

Former King's Lynn favourite Jason Crump heads an all-star cast list in tonight's live televised Elite League Riders' Championship at the Norfolk Arena. (7.45pm)

The reigning World Champion bids to retain his crown for latest club Poole against the sport's finest with a bumper crowd expected at Saddlebow for the showpiece occasion.

Crump is joined in the high class field by the previous three champions of a title won six times in a row by inaugural winner and speedway legend Barry Briggs.

Current world championship leader Nicki Pedersen and nearest challenger Leigh Adams will also battle it out in front of a nationwide audience.

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Cardiff grand prix victor Chris Harris leads the home charge alongside Coventry Bees' team mate Scott Nicholls and former winner Lee Richardson.

Wolverhampton skipper Peter Karlsson has been ruled out after aggravating a hand injury. Freddie Lindgren steps in with Reading's Matty Zagar replaced by Aussie racer Travis McGowan in two changes to the original line-up.

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Stars' co-promoter Buster Chapman insists the prestigious meeting is a perfect showcase for the revamped Norfolk Arena.

"King's Lynn hosted the Commonwealth final years ago but when the stadium went downhill all the major events disappeared," he said. "We finally got an opportunity to show the country what we can do earlier in the season when we hosted the Elite League Best Pairs.

"That meeting was amazing and when an alternative venue was needed for this meeting we instantly became first choice."

Lynn old boy and Eastbourne dark horse Davey Watt is relishing the prospect of his championship debut in familiar surroundings.

"I just love the place and I am quite sure King's Lynn will stage a first class meeting," said Watt. "For me just to have qualified for the meeting on merit is something I am really pleased about.

"I'm looking forward to going there and being part and parcel of what should be a top class event."

Watt views his spell at the club in 2003 as the springboard to launch his successful top flight career.

"In my opinion I went from knocking on the door of being a heat leader to establishing myself in that position," he said.

"I thought Buster and Jonathan Chapman ran a great set-up. It hasn't surprised me one bit that they have gone on and done so much more both with the stadium and the sport itself."

Lynn co-promoter and Super7even series director Chapman believes this year's championship is wide open.

"It is one of the fairest tracks in the country," he said.

"There are clearly no favourites as most of the riders have ridden here in the past but none of them ride week in, week out. It promises to be a sensational meeting and we're extremely proud to be hosting it."

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