Hit the board, contribute to charity


SEPTEMBER 4: There are always people around to support a good cause. AMP, the international financial services corporate that sponsors The Oval and the Surrey County Cricket Club, announced its partnership with Adam Hollioake to raise funds for the Ben Hollioake Memorial Trust.

AMP, which manages assets worth 95 billion pounds, used Surrey's rotating perimeter board system in an innovative fund-raising scheme. About 50 metres of the perimeter boards were earmarked as a target for Indian and England batsmen to hit. AMP announced that for each hit on the Boards it would donate 1000 pounds to the Trust.

Malcolm Speed, the CEO of ICC, talks to the media after meeting the Indian players over the contract issue.-N. SRIDHARAN

Adam Hollioake said: "This is a wonderful gesture by AMP that I hope will raise 10,000 pounds for the Trust. Their sponsorship team has come up with a concept which for me definitely adds spice to an already mouth watering final npower Test match at The Oval. At the end of the day, it is all down to the players, but we are hoping to raise a considerable sum of money for Ben's Memorial Fund.

Scrumpy Jack announced that the boundary that took Nasser Hussain past 2000 runs as England captain also enabled a charity organisation to receive 1000 pounds. Hussain's boundary hit one of Scrumpy Jack's big apple boards.

Sachin Tendulkar's team-mates honour him on his 100th Test appearance, by presenting a memento with their autographs.-N. SRIDHARAN

Hussain's shot raised the charity fund to 32,000 pounds. Hussain, apart, Mark Butcher, Michael Vaughan, Andrew Flintoff, Craig White, John Crawley and Sachin Tendulkar have also hit the big apple challenge and contributed to the kitty.

Another important happening of the day was the meeting between the ICC CEO, Malcolm Speed and the senior Indian players in connection with the disputed 'Player Terms' that the Indian team did not agree to sign because they had committed to personal endorsements.

Former England cricketers - David Lloyd, Angus Fraser and Derek Pringle - are now with the media.-N. SRIDHARAN

After a two hour meeting Speed said: "We had a better understanding of each other. I welcome the opportunity to meet the Indian cricketers. I cannot guarantee a solution, but I am hopeful."

September 5: The official celebration of Sachin Tendulkar's 100th Test match appearance began with the Cricket Club of India (CCI) presenting a special memento to the champion batsman. The metal work studded with gems and stones, known as 'meena craftsmanship' and quite popular in Rajasthan was presented to Tendulkar by the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) President Sharad Pawar.

Present at the brief function were Rajsingh Dungarpur, President, CCI, and former President, BCCI, and Pravin Barve, Vice-President, Mumbai Cricket Association. According to Dungarpur, the development and promotion of cricket is enshrined in the CCI's preamble and it has a role to play. He was the chairman of the selection committee when Tendulkar was picked for the tour to Pakistan in 1989. The CCI offered cricket-playing membership to Tendulkar when he was in his teens.

Alec Stewart has done Surrey proud by his exploits. There is an advertisement on the gasometer at The Oval with a picture of Stewart beside which is the caption: "I look forward to the Ashes coming home."-N. SRIDHARAN

The Indian team members also presented a specially designed memento to Tendulkar. The silver plate which had the signatures of his teammates embossed on it, was presented to Tendulkar by captain Sourav Ganguly.

September 6: The Surrey CCC said it would award a testimonial in 2003 to Alec Stewart. Stewart has been an outstanding success with the bat and big gloves and as the County chief Paul Sheldon said, 'Stewart has shown tremendous loyalty and service to both England and Surrey over the past two decades.

"Playing for Surrey throughout my career has been a fantastic privilege. I have been lucky enough to play with some great players and particularly to be part of the huge success the Club has achieved over the last six years. I hope that I can continue both on and off the pitch in the years to come," said Stewart.

Stewart has received many awards, a couple of which are: 1. Wisden's Cricketer of the year 1993 and 2. MBE in 1998.

September 7: The advertisement on the gasometer at The Oval caught the attention of everybody. There is a picture of Alec Stewart beside which is the caption: "I look forward to the Ashes coming home." England has been gripped by the Ashes series and the prospect of Nasser Hussain's team winning it after several failed attempts.

September 8: The England selectors are forced to make changes to their squad for the ICC Champions Trophy. They chose Rikki Clarke, Owais Shah and Dominic Cork as replacements for Paul Collingwood (neck problem), Craig White (torn abdominal muscle) and Michael Vaughan (knee). Clarke is supposed to be a dashing batsman from Surrey. "Rikki Clarke has had an outstanding season for Surrey. He is a young player of enormous promise and this is a good opportunity for him to test himself at a higher level," said Chairman David Graveney.

September 9: England's former cricketers keep themselves busy, either in the commentators' box or the Press Box. David Lloyd who scored a double century against India in 1974 is with Channel 4, while Derek Pringle is the Cricket Correspondent of The Telegraph and Angus Fraser is the Cricket Correspondent of The Independent. Mike Selvey writes for The Guardian.

After many days of haggling, the BCCI picks the proper team (best team) for the ICC Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka. The Player Terms are changed, but only for the Indian team.

September 10: The Indian team departs for home! (to Colombo) after a hectic tour of England it will not forget for many reasons. The England selectors also announce the team for the Ashes. It has the tried and the trusted, the successful and the failed and the promising.