Doing our bit for chari-tea

Vaughan cricket Abbeydale - tea's all gone
Vaughan cricket Abbeydale - tea's all gone
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UPSTAIRS on a sunlit 98 bus from town to Abbbeydale to watch Michael Vaughan, promise unbounded on a perfect summer’s day.

As the double decker toiled and snarled its way west and along London Road who could possibly have seen the horror that was to unfold.

Fans at Abbeydale for Vaughan game

Fans at Abbeydale for Vaughan game

Horror? Yes.

They ran out of tea at a cricket match.

There was plenty to buy but the free stuff from Yorkshire Tea’s promotional van was all done by 5pm, just when you needed it most.

We battled manfully and womanfully on as the lads out in the middle put on a show that was part cricketing brilliance and part Sunday morning slog, as an event like this should be.

Michael Vaughan’s Sheffield Collegiate Cricket Club XI were taking on an England Cricket Legends XI in a T20 game for cricket development and Sheffield Children’s Hospital, of which Michael is a Patron.

Some took to stronger drink, others went on Tea strike but all rallied to appreciate the celebrities and superstars in combat.

In the VIP marquee before the game Geoff Boycott held forth at the top table on Kevin Pietersen, and how he would have been dealt with in Geoff’s day, Joe Root and England - Boycs reckons the Yorkshire prodigy needs another year before he’s ready to become the new Michael Vaughan.

All around the ground the flags bore images of our Michael in his finest hour, holding aloft the Ashes urn in front of the team he inspired to victory in 2005.

But not everyone was that bothered.

A couple of little girls set up house with their dolls, prams and a tea-set on the boundary oblivious to broadcast warnings about flying cricket balls from the ‘aggressive cricketers” out in the middle.

Over by the posh seats a distinguished-looking gentleman in a white suit and buttonhole glides by on a mobility scooter with two Jack Russell’s on a lead.

The Falconettes cheerleaders mark every boundary with pom-poms and high kicks as booming dance music marks each score and a few hundred Fedora-clad heads nod gently in the sun.

On the opposite boundary it’s more your Barmy Army crowd showing excellent field placings with Carlsberg and chips in hand, the sun in their faces and the Portaloos behind. Tactical genius.

Robbie Savage, he of the golden hair and shimmying hips from Strictly Come Dancing, Blackburn Rovers, Leicester and Derby County is a man half the country loves and the other half can’t stand.

The bad news for the antis is that not only can he dance, play football and hold down a place on the Match Of The Day team, he can also play cricket.

He hasn’t played since school but he took a wicket and whacked a few boundaries.

The England legends knock up a decent 189, but by now the sun’s gone low and the breeze starts to whip up a few goosebumps under the chiffon in the posh seats while the hardened cricket-goers on fold-up chairs pull on their fleeces with a knowing smile.

Flintoff flashes glimpses of his power and brilliance, as did Michael Vaughan, Steve Harmison, Simon Jones and Matthew Hoggard, all 2005 Ashes winners.

The Collegiate reply was a little patchy but, amazingly, they managed to equal the England Legends score - with a little help from some rather eccentric umpiring.

Everyone goes home happy and although he couldn’t put a definitive figure on it Michael Vaughan was hopeful that £40,000 had been raised for cricket development and the Children’s Hospital on the day.

He was dead chuffed and as he left the pitch following his stumping at the end of an innings of 33 and said: “It’s been a great day, everyone’s enjoyed it and the weather’s been fantastic. What more could you want? Thanks to everyone for coming along and supporting us.”

Then he finished off his signing autographs with sweat in his hair and a look in his eye that said ‘time for a drink’.

I hope he wasn’t looking forward to a cup of that free Yorkshire tea...