Permission to Bat – Tea, Cake and Willow

10th September 2011

It’s Saturday afternoon in fairest Norfolk. As the clock struck lunch, a valiant, refined, select and disparate group gather to do battle on the hallowed turf of Horsford Cricket Club. 12.3o start, refreshments and face painting, and a rather pleasant setting. The breeze blew warm, the sky was often blue, and tall trees surrounded the pavilion and field. Cricket whites were immaculate and  fluttering in the breeze, just like on telly. This was the Charity Cricket Match and Fun Day in aid of PhonesforHeroes, in support of Help for Heroes. A host of luminaries have given up their time – one of whom is billed as Dan Hawkins of The Darkness, according to our local press.

At the Celebrity Soccer Six back in May, Dan got the Star Player award. Will he manage that again? Is cricket really his cup of tea? Will he bowl? Score? Fall over? Churlish not to go and find out…

This was a 20 innings match, and by the time I got there 8 or so overs had gone and blumming heck, Mr Hawkins had already been dismissed for a duck. During that discovery, it turned out that I’d missed his batting, but hadn’t missed most of Ed’s fielding. Hang on.. what?  You said ED was playing? A quick whip of the head, and there he was, running to field a stray ball. I later find out he was only co-opted the day before, but by the look of his running and throwing he had got right into it.Certainly looked the part in his whites, too. Mr J Hawkins is also present but as a spectator, today.

At 20 overs, the score was 122 runs for..umm.. some wickets. Some relaxation later, a raffle, coffee and a lie down on very well tended grass, time to restart. A brass band played during the interval which was rather lovely but made me jump  – interesting tunes. ‘You’re the One That I Want’ and the Star Wars theme have never sounded so good. Only a couple of low-flying jets from Norwich International Airport next door break the idyll.

Back on the field of play, Dan’s team are fielding and for the first three overs Dan had precious little to do except remember to change at the end of each over. However, as the batting team took a hold of the game, there was plenty of running to do as a goodly few boundaries were scored (17 off one over! Cool!). None of which were caused by Mr Hawkins’ fumbling any balls, though. But… but… as my back was turned and attention given elsewhere, a clouted ball heading for a 6 was heroically, stupendously and magnificently (so I hear)  caught by Hawkins, D. A round of applause for that man!

The match ended at 17 overs as the target 122 runs was reached with another boundary, and Ed’s team (the one with the girl player) won. Another warm round of applause as the players came off, looking pleased, whichever team they were on. A very satisfactory afternoon’s work. The only slight disappointment was not seeing Ed bat, but he didn’t actually need to, as only 6 wickets had fallen when it was all over.

Photos were taken, speeches made, auctions held. The Golden Match Moment bottle of champers was awarded to Dan for his catch – in which sport will he get hishat trick? Will Ed ever fish for England? Will Justin become a top gymnast? Answers on a postcard…

Ed, Dan and Justin all had a few words to say on the event:

Justin (please note this had an awful lot of waffle/noise cut out so ends abruptly. not great quality, sorry!)



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