Ashes great to coach at Caldy
Jamie Bowman - Friday 16th May 2014
Although his cover drive for four off a Brett Lee full toss in the fourth Ashes Test at Trent Bridge in the 2005 may be one of English cricket's most famous shots, no one could claim Matthew Hoggard (pictured left) was a great batsman.
Despite 'Hoggy's' modest international batting average of 7.27, it is to the mop haired swing bowler that Caldy Cricket Club has turned in their hour of need.
Last week the Wirral outfit's 1st XI were bowled out for just 25 by Prestatyn – their lowest score in the Liverpool Competition since they made 46 at Fleetwood Hesketh in 2004*.
Following the embarrassment the club announced this week that Hoggard, who retired from First Class cricket last year, would be visiting the club next Friday for a training session with all junior age groups and seniors.
"It was just one of those days," said Caldy skipper Rich Battersby, who was one of Prestatyn bowler Sampath Perera's five victims.
"Everything that went wrong did from the moment we got up to when the last ball was bowled at 2:30pm, but we don't have any excuses – it just happened."
The carnage was all the more surprising given Caldy's decent start to the season which saw them unbeaten after their first two games.
"No one saw it coming." agreed Battersby.
"We'd scored 800 runs in our first four games and there had been some great knocks from Brynley Richards, Chris Edwards and Andy Potter so it came out of nowhere really.
"Everything was going to plan until last week but we’ve had a chat about it and it’s put to bed and we need a response on Saturday.
"Hopefully we'll look back at the end of the season when we are in the top two and think that was the kick up the you know what’s we needed to get our season going."
Battersby is looking forward to the chance to meet Hoggard and get some advice off a player who became a reliable night watchman for England.
He said: "It's wonderful he's coming to the club and it should be a fantastic afternoon and I'll definitely be picking his brains. It’s not often you get a chance to meet an England player let own experience him taking a coaching session so hopefully in a few weeks time all the bowlers will be bowling at 80mph and swinging it a mile."
Organiser Nick Schneider added that the former England international will also christen the club's brand new nets.
He said: "Matthew will be coming to Caldy mid to late afternoon and the plan is for him to do some training with the seniors and under 15/17 age groups from around 4:00pm.
"Matthew will then officially open our new nets at around 5:00pm/5:15pm and join in the junior training with the under 9s, 11s and 13s through to the end of their session.
"This is a great opportunity for the club to welcome Matthew and we want all members, friends and family to come down to the club to join in from 4:00pm. We want as many people here as possible for the official opening of the nets and a club photo."
Following on from Matthew's visit the club are hosting a casino night in the club marquée.
* statistics supplied by www.ldcc.org.uk