A new Twenty20 cricket league is looking for teams and players for the coming season.
The Bucks Herald sponsored Last Man Stands league is open to anyone, locally, who loves the game and wants to have a hit. Groups of friends, work, school or pub mates are welcome to take part, while those who don’t have a team can join one of the existing sides.
Last Man Stands has been played all over the cricketing world for the last 10 years. There are leagues in 27 countries with over 1,700 teams.
Last summer, Aylesbury Town Cricket Club bought up the area’s first franchise from the England and Wales Cricket Board, the sport’s governing body, who run the competition.
Four teams took part in the league last year and so far six have entered this season, and there’s room for many more.
The ECB is keen to set up more informal opportunities for people to play cricket. “Last Man Stands provides an opportunity to play the sport whenever and however often they want,” says Keith Dale, Aylesbury’s LMS coordinator. “You could have teams of taxi drivers or school teachers. It’s also ideal for works’ and pub teams.”
Last Man Stands is a unique, informal brand of cricket. It’s eight-a-side, teams face 20 five-ball overs, all from the same end. No-balls are a free hit, and wides only get bowled again in the last over. Teams wear coloured clothes, provided by the organisers, when they sign up.
“It’s a fast-paced game, you just turn up, put some stumps down and you’re off,” adds Dale.
“It’s all over in two hours and then it’s off to the bar or for some food. If people enjoy themselves and want to turn out for the cricket club afterwards, great, if they just want to come along and have a hit with their mates, that’s fine too.”
Last season’s games were played at Aylesbury. This year, Dale hopes Alfred Rose Park will also host some matches.
Winners of the Bucks Herald trophy go forward to a county final. County winners then go onto a regional round and through to the nationals. For national winners, there’s the World Championships. The 2015 Championships, for last year’s national winners, takes place in Barbados this month.
Interested teams, groups or individuals can contact Keith Dale via the website at www.lastmanstands.com.