The Sir Ian Botham XI, to the left of the trophy and a Durham CCC XI played out a 100-ball challenge match to coincide with the visit to Raby Castle of the Cricket World Cup. Pictured with the teams and umpires is Lord Barnard.
The Sir Ian Botham XI, to the left of the trophy and a Durham CCC XI played out a 100-ball challenge match to coincide with the visit to Raby Castle of the Cricket World Cup. Pictured with the teams and umpires is Lord Barnard.

HUNDREDS of fans turned out for an afternoon of early season cricket as the ICC World Cup trophy tour stopped off in the dale.

The trophy is being paraded across the country in the run up to this year’s Cricket World Cup, which takes place at 11 venues across England and Wales starting at the end of May and building to the final in early July.

Durham CCC is one of the host venues and as part of the trophy tour, the silverware was on display at Raby Castle CC, in Staindrop, which hosted a fun day and challenge match between a Durham CCC XI and a Sir Ian Botham XI.

Sir Ian and ex-England bowlers Steve Harmison were among the well known faces among the large crowd which turned up to watch the action.

The match followed the format of the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) new 100 ball version of the game, which will be launched in the 2020 season.

Instead of traditional six ball overs, each innings consists of 100 balls, with bowlers sending down “overs” of up to ten balls at a time from each end. However, bowlers can be switched mid-ten ball over and no bowlers can bowl more than 20 balls in an innings.

The tournament will be played between eight city franchises. Two will be in London and the most northerly will be Leeds. Saturday’s challenge was the first time any of those watching will have seen this version of the game.

Northallerton Heating

Batting first, the Durham XI made 147-8 in their 100 balls. Brydon Carse top scored with 28 and there were 20s for wicket keeper Tom Dowson and Ash Thorpe.

Pick of the bowlers for Sir Ian’s XI were Rob West, who picked up four wickets and Barton CC’s Andy Ryan, who picked up 2-20 in his 20 balls.

There were also wickets for the host club's Dan Lee along with Steve Reeves and Sam Wood, from Richmondshire CC.

After the early loss of Bob Carr, Raby’s Matt Dent and Richmondshire’s ex-Durham star Gary Pratt shared a stand of 44. Pratt went for 22 and Dent for 26. Durham took all pace off the ball and Sir Ian’s XI eventually closed on 83-7 after their 100 balls.

Raby Castle CC proved excellent hosts for the event and all credit must go to Ian Dent and his band of helpers at the club who helped prepare an excellent wicket fully two weeks before the start of the local league season.

After its stop at Raby Castle on Saturday, the trophy moved on to Durham Cathedral on Sunday and then to Beamish Museum on Monday.

World Cup matches between Sri Lanka and South Africa (June 28) and Sri Lanka v West Indies (July 1) will be played at Durham’s Riverside ground.