Monday 15 September 2014

Captain Cook discovers Wanstead

Yesterday was one of the most enjoyable days I can recall for a long time (PS, no birds...). It's Alistair Cook's benefit year, and as he's an Essex cricketer, and several of the Essex side came from the Wanstead Ranks, he brought the team over to Overton Drive for a morning of coaching the kids (my three included), a T20 match vs Wanstead in the afternoon, and then a gala dinner in the evening. We only attended the first two, but were there for something like eight hours - for a man of his stature to give up his Saturday and come out and inspire all these kids is simply phenomenal - and he was so nice too, so normal, no sign of the pressure he must be under. And hats off too to the Essex team that contained the likes of Bopara, Foster, Topley and Panesar, they were all brilliant with the children, and really that's what the day was all about. 

The match itself was won by Essex on almost the final ball, and it was perhaps the least competitive cricket I've ever seen, and all the more fun for it! One of the Wanstead guys had won an auction to keep wicket for Essex, and had a whale of a time. A ten year old kid came out and bowled an over at some point and won man-of-the-match for doing so, Kishen Velani (local boy done good, played for England under-19s) tonked Monty for four sixes in a row, and Cook himself was the victim of a fantastic one-handed catch out at deep mid-wicket.

Wanstead Cricket Club has been superb from the moment we joined it some years ago. It is made up pretty much entirely of volunteers that give up their time to coach the kids, and the whole setup and atmosphere is all you could wish from a local club, and we are fantastically lucky to have it on our doorstep. All three of ours go there every week, let's hope they stay interested for a long time. Especially if it means that I can have great days out too!

Captain Cook asks my child a question - will she bat or bowl. It takes her an eternity to answer. 

Cooky and Trevor, head of Junior Cricket

Monty takes a wicket and goes off to high-five the entire crowd!

James Foster

Nick Browne on his way to a fine score



The centre of attention!

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