Charity match in August. Empty your pockets

Patrick’s pleading for money – and what a worthwhile cause it is too. He says:

The Kirby Strollers, a team of overweight, unfit and untalented part-timers captained by myself, will be playing the PG Wodehouse Society at Audley End, a stately home in northwest Essex, to raise money for The Kids Company, a charity that supports abandoned and underprivileged children in South London and tries to give them better things to do with their lives than stabbing each other. A proportion of the money we raise will also go to Ataxia UK, a charity that does research into a neurological disorder.

The Wodehouseans, playing under the name of The Gold Bats (named after one of Wodehouse’s novels), are a fun bunch who have various fixtures against teams like the Sherlock Holmes Society and the Siefried Sassoon Society, playing where possible (and when remembered) under 19th-century rules, with lob bowlers, different LBW laws, five-ball overs and beards an integral part. Above all, the quality of the tea is more important than the quality of the cricket. We’ll be hoping to carry on the tradition on August 12.

Anyone who wants to pop by and watch the game (it starts at 1pm) and throw a few pounds in a bucket is very welcome. The stately home is here: www.english-heritage.org.uk/audleyend

Or, if you can’t attend, I’d be grateful if you could visit our Just Giving website and donate a few shillings. The good thing about donating that way is that we can reclaim Gift Aid at 28p in the pound from the taxman, so a £10 donation would be worth £12.80. The website for that is: http://www.justgiving.com/kirbystrollers

Best wishes and many thanks

Patrick Kidd

The Times,

Be generous, and try to pop along. Sounds like a cracking day out, and is undoubtedly a very fine cause.

Empty your pockets for charity

Paul Coupar, a colleague on the magazine, is walking miles and miles to raise funds for a cancer charity and the Laurie Engel fund. So empty your pockets immediately. In his and Hugh Chevallier’s words:

We are walking 150 miles across southern England, from one Wisden office to another, to raise money for the Laurie Engel Fund (Teenage Cancer Trust).

Laurie, the son of Wisden editor Matthew Engel, died in September 2005, aged 13. His parents, Matthew and Hilary, set up the fund to help pay for a six-bed extension to the Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where Laurie was treated for a particularly aggressive cancer. His medical care was excellent; the non-medical facilities were dismal.

The extension will allow teenage cancer patients to have some space to themselves – where they can just be teenagers. As well as giving patients more dignity, such wards also increase survival rates.

We set off from Upton Grey (near Basingstoke in Hampshire) at 10am on Saturday 19 May. Our first stop, after a gentle four miles, is the Wisden office at the Golden Pot, near Alton. Or possibly the pub near by.

From there, in the company of an assortment of friends, family and colleagues, we take ten days, walking for between 15 and 19 miles a day, to reach the house in the Golden Valley, south-west of Hereford, where Matthew lives and works, and where Laurie lived and died.

We hope to stride (but expect to hobble) down the Engels’ drive some time after lunch on Whit Monday, 28 May. It would have been Laurie’s 15th birthday. See below for a rough itinerary of where we are when.

Sachin Tendulkar’s 50 at The Oval

Tendulkar hit 50 against Pakistan tonight but Shahid Afridi and Inzamam-ul-Haq powered Pakistan to victory. It was a (wet) charity game at (a very gloomy) The Oval. They raised £250,000. Stuck a brief report up at Cricinfo including photos.

Sport Relief bowled out for 120

As mentioned the other day, Sport Relief are out in India with a number of celebrities to raise funds for the less advantaged. It’s a good charity, made all the better by involving the Great Game.

The charity side, known as the Red Socks, lost their opening match with Jack Russell, Chris Evans, Phil Tufnell and Rosalie Birch all failing badly. Red Socks, chasing 177, slumped to a woeful 120 in 20 overs! Perhaps the choice of Tufnell as captain needs reconsidering.

Andrew Flintoff attended a Sport Relief function today, too, to lend his support in Mumbai.

Having despatched some shots deep into the streets, the all-rounder then missed one from an excitable youngster and was bowled.

The Mumbai project is designed to give an education to homeless children and, in addition, Flintoff’s visit coincided with an Indian festival where people are painted with coloured powder.

Australia vs South Africa wrap

I’m not the only one bored with the VB series going this long. I listened to the radio for most of the day while watching the play, as I was getting close to an act of violence if I had to listen to any more of Tony Greig’s insufferable inanities. Peter Roebuck was clearly even more bored then I was since he was more keen on discussing his charitable foundation’s activities in Africa then the game, and he follows my lead in calling for the format to be scrapped.

The game itself was actually good, and Adam Gilchrist was back to his sparkling best, scoring 88 off just 66 balls, with 14 glorious boundaries. His innings was theoretically terminated by a mis-played pull shot, but the actual thing that got him out was the commentator’s curse; as he passed 80, they started talking about double-centuries. He admits he was thinking about it himself, so obviously he got out.

Ponting, Martyn and Hussey all tucked in as well against a very weak South African pace attack, and settled on 344. Chasing that monster of a total, South Africa were just on the edge of possibility until Mark Boucher got out after scoring an excellent 76. They ended up with 287 for 6, which is a huge score in itself.

So a pretty meaningless game in the great scheme of things, but an entertaining fixture, at least compared to what happened in Melbourne on Friday. The difference was that the pitch here was good.

Statistical oddity- Australia scored 344 for 7 in 50 overs, with only one 6 for the innings. And that didn’t come up till the 46th over. Australia scored 300 in 45 overs, without going over the rope once. Bizzare.

Ashes poster on eBay for charity

Bowling Shane

Throughout the Ashes, Darryl from The Ashes blog took some brilliant photos of him and some mates reenacting events of the summer. Not just vague happenings, but actual wickets! It was a great laugh, and the Beeb and others caught on.

Anyway, Darryl’s asked me to let you know that he’s made a poster of his photos – an 8 inch by 12 inch print covering all five Tests of the 2005 Ashes series, including:

  • Lord’s – “Adam Gilchrist celebrates the wicket of Freddie Flintoff – caught Gilchrist, bowled Warne for 3.”
  • Edgbaston – “Ricky Ponting trudges back to the pavilion after being dismissed for a duck.”
  • Old Trafford – “Michael Vaughan salutes the crowd after scoring a century at Old Trafford.”
  • Trent Bridge – “With a beer and a cigarette in one hand, and a ball in the other, Shane Warne very nearly won the game for Australia.”
  • The Oval – “Under dark and gloomy skies, Andrew Strauss is caught by Simon Katich close to the wicket. This photo is a re-enactment of the bad light.”

It’s at eBay and available for bidding, so go there now and bid away! It’s for a good cause, too – all proceeds go to World Vision and their Pakistan earthquake appeal.

I think you’ll agree – a bloody fine effort from Darryl, so let’s start the bidding.

Possible Pakistani Earthquake fundraiser?

Harry emailed me to say:

Pakistan has just suffered an earthquake which they think has killed
at least 19000 people. England tour Pakistan in about a month. Surely
this is a money-raIsing opportunity?

I’ll commit to 20p for every run Flintoff scores in an international.
You’re in a better position than me, between Corridor of Uncertainty
and Cricinfo, to persuade others to make a similar commitment. There
must be good publicity for a lot of businesses in doing this.

The death-toll is, according to the news, going to rise beyond 20,000 in coming days. While we can’t do much to help, nor offer anything to save (m)any lives, such a gesture would be a good and worthwhile thing to do. What are your thoughts? It seems too good an opportunity, what with England touring Pakistan in a few weeks.

Would you be willing to cough up £x.xx per run for any one batsman (or more than one)? Or perhaps £x.xx per runs conceded by a bowler, or indeed wickets? If the general consensus is good, I’m very happy to organise it all and tally up the amounts at the end of the series, and mail the cheque to a suitable charity. On a similar line, I’m very, very wary of charities and won’t give money out to “any old charity.” But I’ll look into that. Leave your thoughts below.

Thanks for the idea Harry.

Cricket Auction – Brian Lara’s world record 400

Bill Frindall
Wraye Wenigmann wrote to me about a very good cause she and the German Cricket Board have organised. Bill Frindall aka “The Bearded Wonder,” renowned scorer for BBC’s Test Match Special, has donated one of his last original radial charts of Brian Lara’s world record 400. From their website:

The chart, originally commissioned by The Times of England, is one of a limited edition. Printed in full colour on A4 card, each of the 400 numbered prints is accompanied by a signed and numbered certificate. On offer is Nr. 144.

The 215 lines (4 sixes, 1 five, 43 fours, 4 threes, 24 twos and 139 singles) are coloured to represent the damage inflicted upon England’s seven bowlers.

Chart

Wraye and co are auctioning this chart, with a starting price of 50Euros. All proceeds go towards the Diocesan Catastrophe Help Fund – a Tsunami relief charity who, in Wraye’s words, have “done a lot of work in the area, building houses and boats.”

Chart

You may bid by emailing bids@dcusa.de with a subject of “Lara Chart” (serious bidders only). A great opportunity to not only contribute to the Tsunami re-building programme, but to get your hands on a piece of cricketing memorabilia.

McGrath wants money for runs

Or rather, he wants the money to go to charity. Amusing article here:

“I am writing to you as a fellow cricketer and supporter, and as a too frequent contributor to the Primary Club’s disabled and handicapped sporting charities through my regular “golden ducks” scored in international cricket.

The tongue-in-cheek letter says, “Buoyed by my much publicised recent success as a batsman but restrained by an appropriate sense of modesty I have agreed to lend my name to the Club’s proposal to invite members to donate Aus $1 (approx Rs 34) to the Primary Club for every run that I score in each of the Ashes Test matches in England from July to September 2005.

But before you fall off your chair at this unlikely charitable gesture by Moody McGrath, read on:

McGrath continues in jocular vein, “You might speculate that I have ulterior motives and that this is my way of pressurising Mr Ponting, my captain, into promoting me up the batting order.

“But if this challenge thrown out by the Primary Club results in more public attention being given to runs I might score at number 11, then my chances of moving up the order might be increased,” he says.

Good stuff! More on the Primary Club at their site here. Anyone prepared to take a punt on how much he’ll raise this summer? Shot in the dark from me: $64

MCC v International XI – photos



Brian Lara batting

Photo taken by mailliw @ Flickr.com.


My photos of yesterday’s game, which was brilliant fun, are up on Flickr for your viewing pleasure. I never tire of watching Brian Lara bat (pictured) – some of the shots he played were breathtaking.