Lashings of stars at cricket match

By Jonathan BarnesSTORM clouds gathered over the outfield, but they did not stop the stars of cricket shining for a special charity match.Legends of the game including Sir Viv Richards, Courtney Walsh and Richie Richardson showed up at St Joseph's College in Ipswich yesterday to play for celebrity outfit Lashings.

By Jonathan Barnes

STORM clouds gathered over the outfield, but they did not stop the stars of cricket shining for a special charity match.

Legends of the game including Sir Viv Richards, Courtney Walsh and Richie Richardson showed up at St Joseph's College in Ipswich yesterday to play for celebrity outfit Lashings.

They took on a charity XI, made up of cricketers from the region, to raise money for three charities and entertain a crowd of several hundred spectators at the Belstead Road pitch.


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But this was not English cricket as we know it - players dressed in jet black kits (the official Lashings CC strip) and blasts of loud music filling every stoppage in play.

But the weather was true to form for a British summer, and spectators shivered and sheltered from the wind and rain.

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The conditions were good enough for the game to go on, however, and the Suffolk Charity Invitation XI's bowlers faced up to a fearsome batting line-up.

It included West Indian Test stars Sir Viv, Walsh, Richardson, Stuart Williams and Alvin Kallicharran, Zimbabweans Grant Flower and Henry Olonga, ex-South Africa captain Kepler Wessels, England bowler Philip DeFreitas and former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif.

Richardson top-scored with 49 in the visitors' innings, while Sir Viv contributed 17 to a total of 179 in 25 overs.

Toby Pearce smashed 56 for the home side, while St Joseph's College teacher Simon Grevyensteyn hit three sixes in a row off the bowling of Richardson, but the reply fell 12 runs short on 167.

Olonga - who famously wore a black armband in the World Cup to protest at Robert Mugabe's regime and was forced to leave his homeland - provided entertainment off the pitch when the classically-trained singer treated lunch guests to a version of Nessun Dorma.

Match organiser Graeme Kalbraier, managing director of major sponsor Direct Motorline, said: “It's fantastic to see the legends of cricket playing in Ipswich - particularly playing against Suffolk cricketers, some of whom are as young as 18.”

He added: “The main thing is that the weather has turned out to be not too bad. It was touch and go at one stage.”

The weather did account for a scheduled parachute jump from a helicopter by the Army Red Devils, who judged the conditions too windy to attempt the drop.

Lashings CC was formed in 1984, named after a bar run by David Folb, the founder and organiser of the cricket club.

The club, based in Maidstone, is regularly packed with celebrity names, but plays only friendly games, often to full houses home and abroad.

The star players have helped to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity over the years.

The money raised by last night's match will be distributed between the insurance charity BROMUCC, Disability Care Enterprise and the Cystic Fibrosis Society.

jonathan.barnes@eadt.co.uk

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