Posted by: mattburleigh | July 23, 2014

Preston v Leicestershire 1989

Back in the olden days county cricket sides used to visit small village and town clubs to raise money for long serving players’ “benefits”. Essentially this is/was a form of severance payment, with tax advantages, raised from fans and the public through a series of fund-raising events such as matches against star-struck clubs. Hopefully, the clubs would also be able to make a profit for their own benefit. In 1989 we hosted Leicestershire, including stars like David Gower, Peter Willey and Chris Lewis, for the benefit I think of their distinguished batsman Nigel Briers of long serving bowler Les Taylor (Briers was the following year, when it rained all day – thanks Steve Parker for the correction). The whole shebang was arranged by Bob Eagles, one of first XI players at the time and a leading local businessman. Unfortunately the day was grey and overcast. We got a game in, but if memory serves me correct we didnt make a profit. I wasn’t selected, much to my disappointment, but I took a few photos which I’ve scanned for posterity. Gower took his innings seriously. He used the opportunity as a “net” since the 1989 Ashes started shortly after. He made something like 70 before hoisting a deliberate catch to Preston veteran Chris Newell at long on. Sadly for Gower, the 1989 Ashes proved to be a total disaster as a resurgent Australia took a complacent England to the cleaners and began a 16 year reign of domination over us. Gower lost the captaincy mid-series. A few parallels with today’s England side?

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Gower batting

Gower batting

Spectators. Where the modern pavilion is.

Spectators. Where the modern pavilion is.

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Gower batting

Gower batting

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