Collingham and Linton Cricket Club are ready and waiting to take on legends of the game at a special exhibition match that promises to be one of the highlights in the club’s 125-year history.
West Indian greats Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes, the most prolific opening partnership in Test history, will be back together in the Lashings XI set to play Collingham on Sunday.
Greenidge and Haynes scored 6,482 runs in 148 Test innings and put on 16 opening stands of more than a 100, four of which were over 200.
The famous pairing, who both scored more than 7,000 runs in Tests, will join several other world class cricketers in the Lashings team, including the great Courtney Walsh who took 519 wickets for the West Indies.
“Everybody is really excited,” said Collingham chairman Ram Mylvaganam, who organised the match.
“We have created this unique opportunity at Collingham to energise the two villages to have a fun day watching some of the heroes in cricket perform.
“Gordon, who has been a mate from school days, has been instrumental in persuading the Lashings to wander from the natural habitat of the home counties and bring along some famous names with him to play in Collingham.”
Collingham captain Sam Anderson added: “It’s a real thrill to be playing against such great cricketers.
“Who would ever have thought that Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes would appear at Collingham?
“ When I was growing up, they were the best openers in Test cricket and playing for the world’s most powerful team and now they are playing against us at Collingham.”
Former England bowler Phil Defreitas will captain the Lashings side, which will also feature South African star Herschelle Gibbs, former Pakistan captain Inzaman-ul-Haq, England paceman Devon Malcolm and spinner Saqlain Mushtaq.
The match will comprise of 35 overs a side and the touring legends will look to set a monster total when batting first at 3pm.
The Harewood Road club are also hosting a lunch before the match giving spectators the chance to dine with the past heroes.
Anderson said: “It’s a big event for the club.
“All the hard work is in place.
“Hopefully we will get some good weather.”
The biggest problem for Anderson is who to select to represent the Aire-Wharfe outfit. But the skipper insisted every member of the squad would play some part in the day.
He added: “It’s going to be hard as everyone is available.
“We will have an 11 but there’s 15 people that you would describe as first team players.
“They will all get to field at some point.
“It’s a game to be enjoyed. I’m not too bothered about the result.”
The match itself gets under way at 3pm on Sunday, butas well as the cricket there will be a hog roast, West Indian food, a barbecue, steel band, bouncy castle and other children’s entertainments. Food will be served from 2pm.
After the game, celebrations are expected to continue into the evening with a late licence bar.
lSee page 87 for more Collingham CC and Aire Wharfe news.