Local stars will turn out for Sir Ian Botham at World Cup challenge at Raby Castle
By Stuart Laundy - Senior Reporter
A NUMBER of well known faces from the local cricketing world are expected to take the field at Raby Castle CC this weekend to help celebrate the forthcoming Cricket World Cup.
As part of the build-up to the event, which is being staged at 11 venues across England and Wales, including Durham CCC's Riverside ground at Chester-le-Street, a tour of the ICC World Cup trophy is currently making is way around the country.
The tour calls at Raby Castle on Saturday, when fans can get up close with the trophy as well as enjoy the action from a game between Sir Ian Botham’s Raby XI and a Durham Cricket XI.
The match will take the form of the England Cricket Board's new Hundred competition, which will be launched in the 2020 season.
Players selected for Sir Ian Botham’s XI include batsman Matt Dent and all-rounder Dan Lee from the host club, along with Evenwood CC’s Luke Bannister and Barton CC’s Andy Ryan.
Several Richmond players, including skipper Gary Pratt, are included in the line-up.
Barnard Castle CC is not represented as the club's players will be away on a pre-season tour in Nottingham.
The Durham XI will be finalised after the start of the County Championship season on Friday, but the team is expected to be a mix of second team, young and ex-players.
The match starts at 1.30pm and is expected to end by 3.45pm. Anyone interested is welcome to go along.
Raby was also the venue of the first recorded cricket match in County Durham when, in 1751, teams sponsored by the Earl of Northumberland and the Duke of Cleveland and Southampton played.