New Zealand Test star Taylor turns out to help Ashmanhaugh
- Credit: Archant
New Zealand Test star Ross Taylor helped Ashmanhaugh and Barton Wanderers celebrate their centenary by spending a busy day with the club he starred with back in 2004.
Taylor played a central part in all of the 'centenary day' activities, presenting the prizes after Swardeston beat Wanderers in the Norfolk Under-15s final, spending two hours helping to run a junior coaching session along with the club's overseas star Gareth Hopkins – also a Black Caps international, signing 100 copies of Stephen Musk's newly-published history of the club and then taking part in a question and answer session.
'Ross has always stayed in touch and comes back to see us whenever he's in the country,' said former club captain Ali Ponder. 'On his way he sent a message to his 200,000 twitter followers saying how much he'd enjoyed his time with us and even adding a link to the web addresss where people could get the book.
'He's a very engaging character as well as a big star so all the kids wanted a chance to bowl to him in the nets.'
Former New Zealand captain Taylor, 29, has played in 48 Tests and 125 one day internationals and is also a hugely popular figure on the Sub Continent after starring in the IPL with the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
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Copies of the superbly illustrated and presented club history signed by Taylor and Hopkins are available at £25 with unsigned copies £20 from the club or by going to http://www.abwanderers.com/centenary-book.html
n A strong finish saw Swardeston set A&BW a victory target of 113 in the Norfolk U15 final, but the hosts fell short on 102-8.
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In the regional final Swardeston lost by 29 runs to Leicestershire & Lincolnshire champions Houghton-on-the-Hill, who finished on 139-2 with Kit Wardle-Adlam taking both home wickets. In response, Swardeston lost a wicket to the second ball. Alex Levinson (49) and Rory Olpin (24) put on 70 for the 2nd wicket but when they departed the Swardeston challenge fell away as their innings closed on 110-7