THOUSANDS of cricket fans were treated to a day of entertainment as a host of the game’s former stars put on a show for crowds at Stamford School.
Freddie Flintoff, David Lloyd aka Bumble and a number of other legends were in town today (Friday) to take on former England fast bowler Dean Headley’s Invitation XI, a team made up of the best players from local leagues.
The sun shone down on the crowd of more than 3,000 and Freddie and the other stars including David Lloyd, Herschelle Gibbs and Phil DeFreitas were happy to sign autographs all day for hundreds of eager youngsters.
Dean, the school’s cricket coach, said: “It’s turned out to be a great day. We’ve had lovely sunshine, some great entertainment and it’s all for a good cause which is the most important thing.”
In the morning, youngsters from a number of local clubs took part in a Kwik Cricket tournament.
The winners of the competition were Peterborough Town Cricket Club who narrowly beat Oakham Cricket Club by four runs in the final.
After a delayed start the Twenty20 spectacular kicked off just before 4pm when the Professional Cricketers’ Association went out to bat first.
Fours and sixes were the order of the day as DeFreitas was the star of the show for the legends, striking 79 off just 24 balls.
The fielding highlight for Dean’s side was a stunning diving catch on the boundary by Peterborough Town Cricket Club’s Jamie Smith to dismiss big Phil.
The Masters posted 238 for seven off their 20 overs and despite good knocks from Chris Meadows, of Burghley Park Cricket Club and Liam Dave, of Stamford Town Cricket Club, who both made 42, the total was always going to be too many for Dean’s side as they lost by 27 runs.
Without doubt the most popular figure of the day was Ashes hero Freddie Flintoff.
He said: “Never been to Stamford before but it’s a lovely ground.
“I don’t play much cricket anymore but Dean gave me a call and I thought why not?
“It’s good to support him and raise money for a great cause.”
The day did have one poignant moment when a minute’s silence was held for former Stamford School pupil Harry Drain who tragically died last week after being hit by a train.
Dean said: “We had a tribute to Harry and it was very well observed.
“I knew Harry and he was a great lad. It’s been a hard week for us all here at the school.”
Proceeds raised from the day are yet to be counted but will go towards the school’s bursaries.
More pictures and words to come in next Friday’s Mercury.