Swallow full of pride after leading EnglandMay 25, 2023
FORMER Suffolk cricketer Chris Swallow was full of pride after skippering England Over-40s to victory in their inaugural fixture.
The Copdock & Old Ipswichian all-rounder led England to a 92-run win against Wales at Broxbourne CC in Hertfordshire on Tuesday.
Swallow returned figures of 9-0-33-2 as England restricted their opponents to 201 for 5 in pursuit of the hosts’ 293 for 4.
The 41-year-old won the toss and chose to bat first, Chris Hewison (96) and former Kent all-rounder Darren Stevens (72) adding 132 for the third wicket.
Despite opener Sion Morris making 118 in Wales’ reply, the visitors fell well short of their target.
Swallow has extensive experience as a captain, not only at club level but also for the MCC and as a stand-in on the odd occasion during a 16-year Suffolk career.
But he said: “I must admit it was very surreal standing there singing the national anthem beforehand, but I am really proud to captain England to victory in their first Over-40s match.
“Throughout my career I have always enjoyed playing at the highest level that I can, whether that was age group representative cricket, turning out for the MCC or playing Minor Counties for Suffolk.
“We had a couple of ex-professionals in Darren Stevens and Ashar Zaidi playing for us and I like the challenge of showcasing my skills in the same team as them and showing that I am a good cricketer.”
Ex-Suffolk wicket-keeper Simon Guy was a member of the England side and Swallow will be joined by his former Suffolk skipper Justin Bishop in their second match next Wednesday.
England will face Ireland, who are expected to include several members of the side that represented the country in the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies and qualified from the group stage. They will then take on Wales in a return match next month and then have a fixture versus the MCC in August.
Swallow, who put his name forward to captain the side after players were asked who was interested following trials, said: “We are using these games to see as many players as possible in action.
“We are giving everyone who has shown an interest in playing the opportunity to do so in a match environment, before picking a squad of 18 for the World Cup in Cape Town in South Africa next February.
“The trip will be self-funded and it will also mean time away from running my business but the opportunity to play in a World Cup in South Africa is an exciting one.
“I went there on a tour with Ipswich School in 1997, but the prospect of potentially playing in the final at Newlands is awesome.”
Chris Swallow is pictured bowling for England Over-40s during their victory over Wales on Tuesday. Photograph: Chris Mays
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