I am delighted to announce that our village cricket club has been asked to play a starring role in one of the biggest international cricket matches of the entire Summer. This is a very big day for the club, and one of which the whole village can be proud.
You have probably all enjoyed seeing our village youngsters cavorting about the cricket green on a Saturday morning, some of them as young as 6 years old! It is surely one of the happiest sights of the whole Summer. Well, suddenly these youngsters have come of age. On June 18th, at the Oval, 30 of our young cricketers will walk out arm-in-arm with 22 of the world’s best international players, as the teams and umpires take to the hallowed turf to commence battle in the ICC Champions Trophy final. A far cry from the village green indeed!
The International Cricket (ICC) Champions trophy is, in effect, a kind of mini world cup. The worlds best teams such as England, Australia, South Africa, West Indies and India will all be competing for a place in the final match and our lucky 30 will be acting as mascots and flag-bearers during the pre-match announcements and the playing of the National Anthems.
The youngsters will also be on the pitch during the tea break, demonstrating their cricketing skills in front of a sell out crowd of maybe 25,000. And a worldwide audience of many millions will be watching them on the television!
We feel very privileged to have been selected as the lead club for this event and we are very grateful to Surrey CCC and the International Cricket Comittee for offering us this opportunity.
The important thing to note is that we were selected, in the words of the competition’s organizers, as a tribute to all the hard work that has been done by club members and villagers, at the very grass roots level, to keep Hambledon CC operating at its current level and making us ready to receive our safeguarding certificate (known as ‘Clubmark’).
For this I really feel that we should put forward the names of Arthur Blackman and Tony Strudwick for our very special thanks. They have both devoted years of their lives to the club, and to the village… As a former player, I can state that were it not for the efforts of these two gentlemen, the club would be a very different place..and Hambledon’s young cricketers would never have been given this chance to experience a day that they will surely remember for the rest of their lives. Thank you Arthur, thank you Tony, from all of us.
Let’s pray for good weather on June 18th.