Now then the 2 teams mentioned above in the same heading really don’t make sense! A cricket team versus a rugby team? This was a fun day arranged by the Chelmsford Business Network, a group of like minded people meeting on a regular basis to exchange ideas and grow together as businesses.
Amongst those present were Sanlam Private Wealth, Kingston Smith, Live Financial and HSBC Bank. Felsted School played hosts for the day in what can only be described as idyllic surroundings, a beautiful cricket pitch surrounded by stunning buildings.
The day was kicked off with a very tasty lunch where people had the chance to mix with players from both teams. I had a good chat with Saracens player Ernst Joubert, a man I’ve watched play for years but never really had the chance to talk to properly, it was then lovely to meet his wife and 2 daughters after lunch.
We naturally chatted about the biggest surprise of the World Cup so far, the Japanese victory against South Africa! Ernst had been at the game with a couple of the other Saracens lads and was in a bit of a state of shock!
The Essex team was made up of some very fine cricketers with Ryan ten Doeschate, Tom Westley, Reece Topley and Nick Browne amongst those playing. It was quite funny to see the look on a few of the Saracens players when Ravi Bopara strolled in looking cooler than a cool thing.
The weather had been quite awful all week but in common with the day before the sun shone all afternoon, this time I dressed for the weather! A last chance to wear a strapless dress and top up the tan!
Essex were first to bat, and they went off at full blast. I have no facts and figures but they scored 202 in their allotted 20 overs, Nick Browne for one had fun throwing his bat around, it really did seem that the windows would be at great risk and a few heads! Poor Nick Hyde of Live Financial had left his car in firing range, one bumped, bumper!
One of the nicest parts of the afternoon was the sound of laughter from the outfield; the players from both teams had a whole lot of fun, Richard Barrington the Saracens prop took the ball, I would judge that he bowled a couple of the widest wides I’ve ever seen, cue laughter from his team mates, but he took it in good humour and carried on regardless.
There was a break for tea, when Ravi confirmed that yes, cricketers do take tea during their break, I always wondered! Although things of course are changing and the tea is I’m sure a lot healthier.
It was Saracens turn to bat and a few of these big tough rugby players proved they were no slouch with the bat. Again the 6’s started flying and we all felt in need of hard hats!
It was funny to see the Essex players I’ve watched all summer in different ‘spots’ so, Ravi Bopara and Reece Topley behind the stumps and Mark Pettini bowling, again they had a lot of fun.
The cricketers were gracious enough not to bowl at full speed, although it was a surprise to see Nils Mordt come to the crease without a helmet! I’ve seen one man do that this summer and that’s Shahid Afridi the legendary Pakistan cricketer. I’m glad t say he survived unscathed.
The Essex team were also generous enough to allow Saracens 25 overs to reach the required score, with a great innings from Warwick Lang they surpassed the 202 before that point.
And so after a great afternoon Nils Mordt was awarded the winning trophy, I wonder how a rematch on the rugby pitch would go? I do believe the rules would need a review!
An addendum, over £2000 was raised for great causes including the Saracens Sport Foundation – a wonderful added bonus to a great day!