Herschelle Gibbs signs up for England Masters match at Stamford School

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IT’S set to rain fours and sixes in Stamford’s biggest ever cricket event as Herschelle Gibbs has agreed to strap on his pads for the match.

The South African batsman will join a team of local players, the Dean Headley Invitation XI, who will take on the Professional Cricketers’ Association England Masters, featuring the likes of Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff, David Lloyd aka Bumble, and Devon Malcolm at Stamford School on July 27.

Crowds may be forced to take cover during the Twenty20 spectacular, with master blaster Herschelle being renowned as one of the game’s big hitters.

Despite scoring more than 6,000 runs in 90 Test matches, Herschelle comes into his own as a one-day player.

At the 2007 Cricket World Cup, he struck six sixes in one over against the Netherlands and in a 248 match career, he has 21 centuries to his name and more than 8,000 One Day International runs for the Proteas.

He has also played in the prestigious Indian Premier League for the Deccan Chargers, and earlier this year, the Mumbai Indians.

Herschelle’s appointment will come as welcome news for the team of local players, the Dean Headley Invitation XI, who are set to be captained by former England bowler and Stamford School coach Dean Headley.

The final team has been announced and those selected are licking their lips at the prospects of taking to the field with some of the game’s biggest names.

Bowling all-rounder Karl Green, who has been selected from Market Deeping Cricket Club, described the match as a “once in a lifetime experience”.

Karl, 41, from Main Street, Belmesthorpe, who boasts best bowling figures of 7-25, said: “I was quite surprised to be selected but it really is a once in a lifetime opportunity to play against a team of legends.

“I’m going to be extremely nervous with such a big crowd watching but you won’t be able to wipe the smile of my face all day.”

Other local players who are set to play alongside Dean, Herschelle and Karl include Chris Meadows of Burghley Park Cricket Club, Stamford Town Cricket Club 1st XI captain Liam Dave, Mark Cox of Uppingham Town Cricket Club, Bourne Cricket Club’s Peter Morgan, Jamie Smith of Peterborough Town Cricket Club, Cameron Wake of Oundle Town Cricket Club, and ex-Bourne Cricket Club player, former Stamford School head boy Will Clough.

The day will also feature a number of children’s activities, including a Kwik Cricket competition, plus beer tents, food stalls and a corporate hospitality marquee, with proceeds going towards the school’s bursary system for the town.

Organisers are running a 12th man auction, in which the winner will get the chance to take the field with the England Masters XI, be given two guest tickets for the hospitality marquee, which includes a four-course lunch, an England Masters signed shirt, as well as their own shirt with name and number and a photo taken with the team.

To enter, e-mail a bid to info@englandmastersstamford.co.uk, titled “12th Man Bid”.

To buy tickets and for more information visit the website www.englandmastersstamford.co.uk