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Celebrity cricketers to play at Pudsey St Lawrence

Former England captains Ian Botham, David Gower, Mike Gatting and Charlotte Edwards are all expected to attend a charity cricket festival at Pudsey St Lawrence next month.

Members of Parliament, Peers and the Lord’s Taverners are set to play at Tofts Road for a special charity event being held 40 years after the momentous Headingley test match against Australia.

The dinner and cricket festival has been arranged to celebrate and commemorate the iconic Test Match, which was dominated by the individual performances of Ian Botham and Bob Willis.

The Festival of Cricket was originally scheduled for July, but has been rearranged to 16 September due to COVID restrictions.

The day will start with ladies’ softball cricket followed by the Lord’s Taverners’ Wicketz and Super 1’s initiatives before a Twenty20 game between the Lord’s & Commons Cricket team and the world famous Lord’s Taverners. 

All are welcome and there will be no charge for admission. The Lord’s and Commons will be fielding many well-known local and national Members of Parliament. The Taverners side will feature many famous ex-cricketers. 

The main charitable beneficiary will be Lord Ian Botham’s Beefy’s Foundation. Lord Botham said:

“I am delighted this game is going ahead and I am looking forward to being there. Over the decades, Beefy’s Charity Foundation has helped raise thousands to fund specific projects relating to chronic illnesses and other challenges that young people face. 

“It doesn’t seem like 40 years on since that amazing occasion at Headingley and it feels only right to be holding this match back in Yorkshire. If you are in the area please come along, watch the cricket and support the cause.”

Tony Moss, club president at Pudsey St Lawrence Cricket Club, added:

“We are absolutely delighted to host the game, the prospect of four former England captains together with the players from the Lords Taverners is incredibly exciting.

“We all remember the thrilling events of Headingley 1981 and whilst we probably can’t expect as exciting and ending on the 16th it promises to be a great and memorable day adding to the rich history of our club.”

Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew, who was instrumental in bringing the game to Pudsey St Lawrence, said: “I’m really looking forward to the day, not only the raising of funds for such a great charity but also seeing my parliamentary colleagues away from Westminster pitting their cricketing abilities against the famous Lord’s Taverners. There will be no admission charge so I would urge people to come along to watch the day.”

As well as the main game itself, the Lords Taverners will be running demonstrations of their two initiatives; Wicketz and Super 1’s. These are programmes to enable underprivileged and young people with a disability to get involved with the game.

Mervyn Ramsay, from the Lord’s Taverners, said:

“We are so pleased to be not only playing the game but also bringing out Wicketz and Super 1’s to Pudsey. We are doing more and more charity work in the north of the country, and we are looking forward to showcasing some of the great work the Taverners do. With regard to the main game, we are anticipating putting out a strong side and giving the MP’s a keenly fought game.”

As well as Lord Botham’s foundation, the Lord’s Taverners charity will also be a beneficiary of the game and local Charity, The Yorkshire Brain Tumour Charity (www.yorksbtc.org.uk )will be benefiting by receiving a donation and providing the players teas. 

Geoff Fawkes, from sponsors Sunbelt Rentals, added: “We are thrilled to be involved in such an exciting day and celebrate one of English crickets most legendary test matches. To support the event and help raise money for such worthy causes is a real honour.”

The day starts at 10.30am with the demonstration events with the main game commencing at 12noon. All are welcome, there will be no admission charge.

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