Brian Lara plundered runs against Test attacks all over the globe and the Prince of Trinidad could soon unleash his trademark back-swing and classical follow-though again … for a pub team in Newcastle.
Thanks to some plucky work from The Bennett Hotel Centurions, a Division 5 outfit in New South Wales' Hunter Valley, Lara signed on the dotted line for the side, who are hopeful the former West Indies captain will turn out for them this summer.
Centurions’ team members had been at the Albion Hotel and when they spotted the 47-year-old, who was making a number of appearances in the Hunter Valley. Before long, Lara had put to pen to paper and was asking his new teammates “What time do we play tomorrow?”
“He went around and shook everyone’s hands and was really approachable,” Centurions player Darren Wilton told the Newcastle Herald.
“If you wanted to ask him something you just walked up to him, so it just grew out of that.”
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While efforts are being made to get Lara to make good on his promise, it remains to be seen whether he will play in the competition.
“But if he does it’ll be with us,” Wilton insisted.
“We’re the ones who signed him.”
Over the weekend in Tasmania, a couple of junior CommBank Club Legends recorded some scarcely-believable performances.
With Glenorchy under-17s reeling at 5-16, Clarence Kangaroos were looking to wrap up the innings in quick fashion.
But when Adrian Butterworth was thrown the ball in the 12th over, even his most optimistic teammates didn’t expect Glenorchy’s innings to be over within six legal deliveries.
After conceding two runs off the bat with his first ball, Butterworth rattled the stumps to leave Glenorchy six wickets down.
The youngster collected four more wickets for the over, as well as delivering three wides (one of which saw the batsmen collect a bye) and a no-ball.
He finished with the remarkable figures of 5-7 from his solitary over to hand Clarence a 101-run win.
On the same day in the Hurricanes Primary League’s under-13s, Lindisfarne’s Connor Downham also starred on the Apple Isle.
Downham wreaked havoc in his only over, snaring 4-1 after coming on to bowl second-change.
On the Bellarine Peninsula in Victoria, Jan Juc seamer Ben Grinter joined an exclusive club in capturing a hat-trick, and an even rarer group who have the milestone recorded on video.
When the umpire’s finger went up to signal an lbw for his third wicket, Grinter, who also top-scored in Jan Juc’s first innings with 70, and his teammates set off in delighted celebrations.
The left-armer’s efforts helped roll Barwon Heads for 89 to hand Jan Juc a 97-run victory.
In Ballarat, Fraser Hay claimed a remarkable 9-12 from seven overs in the Under 17 Kirton Shield on Sunday.
Hay’s Ballarat Blue teammate Joshua Findlay snared the other wicket, as they skittled the Grampians for 67.
And in Gippsland, Merinda Park F grade opener John Cuthbertson had a weekend to remember; he shared in a 392-run first-wicket stand, notched his 8,000th career run for the club and posted a double-ton.
Cuthberston finished with 263 to help Merinda Park to 5-432 from their 70 overs, giving Pakenham a daunting chase for next week.
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