Brian cracks winning runs to seal an Ashes triumph

Brian Booth
Brian Booth

Eastbourne cricketer Brian Booth helped bring a touch of Ashes glory to Eastbourne last week.

Brian was selected to represent the England over 70s team for the second Test of a three-match series against arch rivals Australia and the veteran batsman helped his country to victory.

The 75-year old, has a rich history in Eastbourne cricket having skippered the Eastbourne second team back in 1980. In fact, the veteran’s love affair with the sport started way back in 1954 when he first turned out for Eastbourne at the age of just 15.

And he rolled back the years last week as he put on the winning runs to give England an unassailable two-nil lead in the series.

Australia, batting first, posted a respectable score of 235-7 after 50 overs but a wonderful opening partnership of 147 from Neil Blackey of Hampshire and John Anderson from Little Common, put England firmly in control.

Both Blakely and Anderson’s wickets fell quickly though, and it signalled the arrival of Brian to the crease.

Alongside fellow batsman Barry Peay from Horsham, the pair took the match away from Australia, with Brian hitting the final runs to finish on 33 not out, sealing the match and the series with eight wickets and four overs to spare.

Brian said, ““It was a tremendous occasion and a real privilege to represent my country, even at this age.” On hitting the winning runs, he added “It was a relief just to not get out before the runs were scored. To get out when the scores were level would have been a bit embarrassing!”

The Eastbourne veteran owes a lot of his success to his local club and he might not be the only star on the books.

“One of the most enjoyable things about playing for Hellingly is that we have a such mix of ages. Last Saturday we had a 13-year-old scoring a hundred in the first team and the following day I was representing the country.”