BIG HITTING will be the order of the day at two north Hampshire cricket grounds over the next couple of days.
Today, Odiham and Greywell’s King Street venue will host former England stars in a special t20 match, part of the club’s 250th anniversary celebrations, which starts at 3pm.
Tomorrow, the action moves to Hartley Wintney as the hosts face a past Hampshire XI skipped by Shaun Udal, in aid of charity in another 20 over game that starts at 3pm.
Among the list of former England stars set to grace Odiham’s ground today are Mark Ramprakash, Matthew Hoggard, Paul Nixon and Devon Malcolm, as part of the Professional Cricketers’ Association side.
The event will kick-start the 250th anniversary celebrations for the club as the ground is open from 1.30pm for what is set to be an entertaining afternoon for all the family.
In the morning before the game, the England players will be meeting and giving informal training sessions to the very successful colts section at the club.
The following day, Odiham will host an under-nine tournament and then on Sunday (start time 11.30pm) there will be their annual game against Sir Tim Rice’s Heartaches, which is the 40th anniversary of this fixture.
Odiham colts will take to the ground on Monday and then on Wednesday (2pm) a strong Club Cricket Conference XI will be at King Street. On Thursday (11.30pm) an MCC XI make a visit.
A week tomorrow, the celebrations continue as Hampshire women take on Odiham women in the afternoon game starting at 2pm and then there will be a t20 match with RAF Odiham in the evening.
The final match is the traditional President’s Day meeting, which takes place next Sunday between the Cricket Society XI and a club XI (2pm).
Meanwhile, tomorrow at Hartley, the village will turn out in force for what should be an entertaining game against past Hampshire cricketers led by Basingstoke-based Udal.
The match is in aid of Autism Hampshire and Hampshire Cricket North and Borders Supporters’ Association, which helps youngsters with one-to-one coaching.
This is an annual event that always brings a big crowd to the venue and Hartley captain Jamie Teale is looking forward to leading his side against the Hampshire XI.
He said: “It is always a great occasion for the village and I am really looking forward to being captain on the day.”