UK-based charity organisation, the Lord’s Taverners, will be in Cape Town from March 3-8, 2020 to promote their Table Cricket initiative, among other charitable activities.
Led by former England cricket captains Mike Gatting and David Gower, and including a host of other sporting greats such as former England rugby stars Rob Andrew and George Chuter, and Worcestershire Women’s cricketer Chloe Hill, the touring group will be hosted at a number of events at venues around the city to promote Table Cricket, including a Table Mountain demonstration, two exhibition cricket matches, a kit handover and fundraising dinner.
The South Africa branch of the Lord’s Taverners will be providing logistical support, and are already involved in promoting the game throughout the country. Table Cricket is an adapted version of the game, played on a table tennis table and specially designed to give mentally and physically disabled people the chance to play and compete in the sport.
The aim of the tour is to raise awareness and funds for Lord’s Taverners SA and its Table Cricket programme, as well as to announce a Sporting Chance legacy project that will see the Lord’s Taverners hand over recycled kit to former Natal fast bowler Vincent van der Bijl’s educational project in Masiphumelele.
Sporting Chance are the Cape Town-based organisation, headed by Brad Bing, who manage the Table Cricket coaching programme in partnership with Lord’s Taverners SA.
Gower, who has been involved with the Lord’s Taverners for some 40 years, says: “There are people like us who are able-bodied and able to play cricket out on big fields, and if you have an ounce of talent and ability, you can make a life out of it, as I’ve done, which is fantastic.
“But there are children who are not so able in many different ways. What the Lord’s Taverners have done in the UK is roll out these types of projects across the country…and it’s amazing to see these kids really just enjoying themselves. It’s simple, it’s effective, and it gives them a sense of the team spirit that we have grown so accustomed to.”
The tour to Cape Town, he continues, is primarily about “raising awareness and growing support”.
The exhibition matches promise to be a competitive affair played in a friendly spirit, and giving the public a chance to see some of the legends of yesteryear in action once again.
The SA Legends team, which is yet to be finalised, is set to include the likes of Peter Kirsten, Alan Dawson, Steve Palframan and Justin Kemp, among others.