PCA Masters Team Includes Potential Academy Players — 31/07/2003
The PCA Masters, an all-star team assembled by the Professional Cricketers’ Association, has included two up-and-coming young players alongside a host of experienced internationals in its line-up for today's match against the current South African touring side at the Shenley Cricket Centre in Hertfordshire.
Jefferson And Napier
Batsman Will Jefferson and all-rounder Graham Napier — both 23-year-old Essex players - will be taking the field with the likes of ex-South African test players Allan Donald and Daryll Cullinan, who will be competing against their former teammates.
Afzaal And Flower
Nottinghamshire batsman Usman Afzaal, who last represented England in 2001, will also be playing along with Essex all rounder Andy Flower, who scored 4794 runs at test level for Zimbabwe.
Leading insurance broker Hill House Hammond - one of the UK’s largest high street general insurance brokers with over 230 branches throughout England, Scotland and Wales - is sponsoring the PCA
The PCA Masters XI
Allan Donald (captain) — South Africa, 72 tests
Daryll Cullinan — South Africa, 70 tests
Jimmy Adams — West Indies, 54 tests
Aravinda de Silva — Sri Lanka, 93 tests
Andy Flower — Zimbabwe, 63 tests
Usman Afzaal — England, 3 tests
Kumar Sangakkara (wicketkeeper) — Sri Lanka, 30 tests
Chaminda Vaas — Sri Lanka, 68 tests
Muttiah Muralitharan — Sri Lanka, 82 tests
Will Jefferson - England
Graham Napier - England
Jefferson, a 6-foot-10 opening batsman, and Napier have been selected with the blessing of the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB). Both players are included in the 2003-2004 provisional squad for the ECB’s National Academy, which aims to develop this country’s most promising young cricketers.
"Will and Graham are very promising cricketers," said David Graveney, England’s chairman of selectors. "Both of them have a lot of potential and we want to encourage further development of their skills — that’s why they have been included in the PCA Masters to face South Africa. They will be surrounded by experienced international players and that will be very beneficial for them."
The Masters concept offers the finest all-star team in cricket - the equivalent of rugby’s Barbarians - and their fixtures against international teams are becoming established as a highlight of the cricketing calendar. It will be a fast-flowing version of the traditional one-day format with heavy emphasis on entertainment. Both sides will bat twice and each innings is limited to 20 overs.
Best Players In The World
"It will be interesting to see how Jefferson and Napier handle the challenge," said Richard Bevan, group chief executive of the PCA. "This match is bringing together some of the best players in the world and the inclusion of two youngsters from Essex is designed to see how they cope under pressure. The Masters’ are a mixture of young talent and experienced stars — it should produce an entertaining occasion."
Allan Donald, nicknamed ‘White Lightning’, took 330 wickets before retiring from international cricket in March. Angus Fraser is now The Independent’s cricket correspondent after leading England’s bowling attack in the 1990s. Fast bowler Chaminda Vaas and batsman/wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakarra are both current Sri Lankan test players and were in action last month against the West Indies. Aravinda De Silva, the former Sri Lankan star, retired in 2002 after scoring more than 6,000 test runs. Jimmy Adams, an ex-West Indies skipper, is another member of the Masters team.
The South African XI will be selected from their 2003 touring squad. Proceeds from the match will be split between the PCA’s education, benevolent and community projects, and several South African good causes.
Directions To Shenley
The Shenley Cricket Centre is located on Radlett Lane, in Shenley, which can be easily reached from both the M1 and M25 motorways. Radlett Station, five minutes from the ground, can be reached via the Thames Link from Kings Cross station.
The game begins at 2pm with tickets - available from Ticketzone on 08705 321 321 or on the gate on the day - cost £10 for adults and £5 for under-16s and OAPs. Shenley Cricket Centre, which is also selling tickets in advance, can be contacted on 01923 859 022.
Corporate hospitality packages are also available at £99 per person plus VAT and anyone interested should call Lee Atkins at the PCA on 0207 544 8670.