Cricket pro flies back from India for biggest game in Barney CC's history
BARNARD Castle’s cricketers are preparing for the biggest game in their club’s history.
Special arrangements have been made for Samarth Seth, the club’s prolific Indian batsman, to fly back from Delhi for the game on Sunday.
Seth, 21, has been granted permission by his home board in the country’s capital to return for the National Twenty20 Club Cup Final.
Barney will play Tunbridge Wells from the Kent League at the Northants county ground and expect to be watched by hundreds of supporters.
A coachload of fans is due to leave the club on Sunday morning for the match at 2.45pm and scores more are travelling by car and train. Hotel accommodation in Northampton is in short supply. David Sparrow, Barney’s chairman, said: “This is a massive occasion in the history of our club and the team led by James Quinn fully deserves to be in this final.
“It is still difficult to believe in many ways that little old Barney has come this far. But it all dates back to when we started taking junior cricket seriously 15 years ago which led in turn to the club pulling its socks up off the field. Most of the players in our squad for this huge match came through the junior ranks.”
Seth has scored almost 1,500 runs in all cricket for Barney this summer and has re-signed for next year along with the club’s other professional, Karl Carver. In accordance with his contract, Seth returned home after the end of the normal season to see his family, but both he and the club were keen for him to play in the final. He needed a letter from his Delhi club employers giving approval and Barney then had to arrange flights, Covid-19 tests and transport from airport to Northampton. The club, like other similar organisations, has been hard hit financially by Covid-19 and Seth’s return was confirmed only after a sizeable cash gift from a club supporter.
To reach this unprecedented stage, Barney have had to win eight consecutive T20 matches in all, starting in May. Four were in the Macmillan Cup, the North Yorkshire & South Durham League’s T20 competition after which they qualified for the national event. In that, they have won another four matches, culminating in a rousing nine wicket win against Cheshire side, Alderley Edge, last month, which made Barney North T20 champions.
Mr Sparrow said: “If we could go one step further on Sunday it would be the crowning glory. Triumphing in the game’s most popular format would truly make us a club for the 21st century.”