PREPARATIONS for Stamford’s cricket event of the summer are in full flow and former England international Dominic Cork is the latest star who has agreed to lace up his bowling boots for the one-off Twenty20 spectacular.
The former fast bowler and now Sky Sports commentator is one of a host of former England players who will take to the field as the Professional Cricketers’ Association England Masters XI, to play a team of local cricketers at Stamford School on July 27.
In a 21-year career, Dominic, aka Corky, took 172 international wickets and is best remembered for his hatrick against the West Indies in a Test match at Old Trafford in 1995.
He also played for Derbyshire and Lancashire, before retiring at Hampshire last year, finishing his first class career with 989 wickets and more than 10,000 runs, with a top score of 200 not out.
Dominic has joined the likes of Paul Nixon, Neil Fairbrother and John Emburey who will pad up against the Dean Headley Invitation XI, which will be captained by Dean himself.
Dean, a cricket coach at Stamford, is currently choosing amateur players for his team and former Stamford School head boy Will Clough is the first lucky name to be added to the line-up.
Will, 25, who lives in Fulham, grew up in Bainton and played for Bourne Cricket Club for more than 10 years, helping the club to win the Lincolnshire ECB Premier League.
With a highest score of 216, Will regards himself as a batting all-rounder and is relishing the challenge of facing the bowling of Devon Malcolm, Gladstone Small and Phil DeFreitas on his old stomping ground.
Will, who had also played for Ufford Park Cricket Club, said: “It’s very exciting to have been picked to play because there are so many famous faces in their team.
“I used to watch them on TV when I was growing up and then tried to emulate them in the garden. It’s a great opportunity for me and it’ll be a fantastic experience.
“As much as I think it will be played in a sporting manner, if we hit a few boundaries they might up the tempo and bowl a bit quicker, and there might be a little bit of sledging. But it will just be great to be on the same field as them and to be involved in it all.”
Dean was delighted with his two latest recruits for the big match.
He said: “Corky is one of the last true characters of the game. We have known each other from our younger days and for him to agree to play really is a bonus for all concerned.
“Bringing this particular group of players together will create a great deal of friendly fun and banter between the team, the fans and spectators.
“And Will is a well-respected member of the old Stamfordians and a fantastic cricketer. We think it’s important to involve a representative of the past pupils.
“The incoming captain of the school will be invited to represent the present pupils and we’re securing the rest of the players from local cricket clubs. The day will also include a number of children’s activities, plus beer tents, food stalls and a corporate hospitality marquee, with proceeds going towards the school’s bursary system for the town.
The event will also be supporting local suppliers and a number of charities. For tickets and more information visit www.englandmastersstamford.co.uk