Eastbourne aim to prove a point against Lashings

England bowler Devon Malcolm
England bowler Devon Malcolm

There will certainly be a competitive approach from Eastbourne as they welcome legends from the cricket world to the Saffrons on Friday.

Eastbourne have not enjoyed the best of starts to their 2012 campaign and they see Friday’s mouthwatering clash with the world famous Lashings XI as a great chance to improve.

The Lashings will include England bowler Devon Malcolm, Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq, former England paceman Phil Defreitas, off-spinner John Embury and West Indian batsman Gordon Greenidge

The star-studded line-up are in town as part of a charity event hosted by Eastbourne Cricket Club.

Funds raised on the day will go to St Wilfrids Hospice and towards improving facilities at the Saffrons.

Club chairman Ian Fletcher-Price said, “This is our chance to show that we are a progressive club in Sussex and that we can put on a good event.

“The Lashings always bring a very strong squad and I’m sure our lads will be keen to impress against players who have played at the highest level.

“The Lashings will be playing some good cricket. They don’t enjoy getting beaten and I think it will be a good contest. We are all just hoping the weather does not spoil the party.”

Eastbourne third team player Harvey Ferrari will line-up with the Lashings after winning the ‘Star for the Day’ auction with a bid of £200.

Former England bowler and Eastbourne player Ed Giddins has helped organise the event.

He said, “Everything is in place and we are all looking forward to a good day of cricket.

“The club has worked hard to get this game on and we want to go out there and put in a good performance against them.

“They have some talent in their line-up and it will be a good test for the players and also great for the spectators.

“The Lashings are all very accessible and it’s a good chance for fans to get their pictures taken with them.

“We will be using this game as an opportunity to put a few things right. We have not performed well in the league and this game is a great opportunity to show an improvement.”

Of the players on show, Giddins said he is looking forward to facing Saqlain Mushtaq.

Saqlain is credited with the invention of the doosra, which is an off-spinner bowled with an off-break action.

However, it spins in the opposite direction, which provided a lethal weapon in Saqlain’s armoury during a successful professional career that spanned from 1994 to 2007.

Giddins, who was still suffering after a mammoth 21-over spell during Eastbourne’s Sussex Premier League defeat at Hastings on Saturday, added, “Saqlain was one of the best in the business and will be great to watch. He holds the record as the fastest cricketer to reach 200 ODI wickets.”

“Devon Malcolm is also still pretty fast, he’s still got it.”

“I will also be playing but I don’t think I will be bowling another 20 overs. I can hardly move after Saturday.

“I plan to field on the boundary next to the beer tent.”

Action starts 2.30pm at the Saffrons.