Former England cricket captain, Allan Lamb was inaugurated into his role as ambassador for the Help for Heroes cricket team at the weekend (Sunday 19 June), when he joined them for their match at Tidworth Cricket Ground against 30-year-old Hampshire touring side, The White Hunters.
The Help for Heroes cricket team is formed of wounded injured and sick military personnel and veterans who are using cricket as part of their recovery.
Allan was being inaugurated as an ambassador of Help for Heroes’ cricket team, to assist in the development of the sport and in recognition of his magnificent achievement in pulling together the Cricket for Heroes event at the Oval last September.
Allan enjoyed a tour of the Help for Heroes Tedworth House Recovery Centre before being presented with the team polo shirt and blazer at Tidworth Cricket Ground. He expressed his honour and pleasure in being appointed ambassador, and said how much he was going to enjoy the opportunity and privilege.
“It’s such an honour to be announced as ambassador for the Help for Heroes cricket team. I’m delighted to be joining the team today to show my support ahead of their match against White Hunters CC this afternoon.
To see the team at Tedworth House, which is a fantastic facility which so many of the blokes have used, and are still using, on their recovery journey is very humbling. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour and look forward to my next visit to support them.
Cricket is a wonderful sport, and it’s fantastic that the wounded, injured and sick military community are gaining so much from playing it, whether that be physical or psychological.”
Once all of the pre-match presentations and photographs were done, it was time to take to the field. The White Hunters went in to bat first and so Help for Heroes took to the field. The fielding performance by all involved was absolutely fantastic, with everyone diving around the place, defying their injuries. Everybody was having fun and really enjoying themselves.
With all of the Help for Heroes team getting on the field to take part in the match at some point, it was clear to see that all the hard work from the coaches was starting to pay off. In the field the guys and girls were nothing short of amazing. It was easily the best fielding display of the season so far, and arguably in the history of Help for Heroes cricket.
The White Hunters set a target of 177 to win, so in marched the first pair, Ortis (Charles) and Steve (Caruana). The run rate was fairly leisurely to begin with, but with some gentle encouragement and shouting (“see the ball, hit the ball”), they started to swing. Unfortunately, this didn’t go our way and we started to loose wickets, until Barrie took to the crease and decided to entrench himself. Barrie (Griffiths) had a string of ducks (no runs scored !) in previous matches, and was adamant that he wasn’t going to get one this time. He succeeded and made a few runs, playing some beautiful shots along the way. It wasn’t enough though and on the last ball, with a huge swing across the line, Barrie was out and the game was done. We had made 105 runs, but it didn’t matter.
Both teams left the field in high spirits, neither team concerned with the result. It was then time for tea. It was a wonderful spread that had been put together by Band of Sisters Mel and Hannah, with the support and generosity of the Durrington local Sainsbury’s store. After the food the captains decided to have another match, this time it was a 15 over match. Unfortunately, this match succumbed to the bad light, with safety becoming a factor.
It didn’t matter. Everybody involved had a fantastic day. The opposition were fantastic, and entered into the spirit of the day. They presented the club with their book that follows the first 25 years of the White Hunters Club, which is now in the Tedworth House Library and very generously donated £150 to Help for Heroes.
Over the last three years, cricket has evolved within Help for Heroes as not only a sport to aid physical recovery but as a method of developing new friendships and growing as part of a team.
Help for Heroes has been involved with Sports Recovery since 2008, and in the past year alone have put on around 300 events across 50 different sports enabling wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans to take part in adaptive sports from grassroots through to performance level.
To find out more about Help for Heroes’ Sports Recovery Programme, follow @H4H_SR on Twitter.
If you want to get involved in cricket or any other sport with Help for Heroes, email firstname.lastname@example.org