THE RAIN may have won the day on the field but it could not prevent hundreds of cricket fans enjoying the visit of the Lashings All Stars to Redditch Entaco Cricket Club last Friday.
The visit of the world famous Lashings team – which comprises international stars of the sport past and present – had been a year in the making but, unfortunately, heavy overnight rain and more of the wet stuff on the morning of the fixture had left the game in doubt.
However, tremendous work by the groundstaff led by Ash Freeman – who was at the ground at 7am to begin the mopping up operation – meant play began little over an hour after the scheduled 3pm start.
After club members, guests and fans had enjoyed a superb meal and seen some top prizes auctioned off in the specially erected marquee, the T20 match began with Australian wicketkeeper Tim Paine and West Indian Kirk Edwards opened the batting for Lashings having been inserted by home captain Luke Davis.
However, only eight overs of play were possible before the rain returned and forced the umpires to abandon the match, but not before Paine had shown his batting prowess with an unbeaten 63 off 28 balls and Edwards had chipped in with 30 off 21 in a score of 102-0.
Before and after the cricket, fans were able to pose for pictures with and collect autographs from the Lashings players and there was plenty of drinking as the general public and members of Redditch rugby union and hockey clubs came along to support the event.
Former Kent and England all-rounder Mark Ealham was part of the Lashings team and he said: “It’s a real shame that the weather has intervened like this because we are well aware how much work people at Redditch Entaco put into making sure this event went off in style.
“We’ve been impressed by the way the event was staged and our team are gutted we couldn’t get out on to the field with the exception of Tim (Paine) and Kirk (Edwards).
“It’s down to the club of course, but I am sure Lashings would be happy to come back here in the future.”