Wednesday, February 1, 2023

PCA: Legends compete in Ultimate Challenge

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Watch Tudor, Read, Meaker and Dernbach battle against each other

Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it’s Alex Tudor nailing middle stump in the dizzy bowl-off. He then peels off as if having taken a five-fer at Lord’s as his opponents plead with the umpire for a no-ball.

The PCA England Legends have released a film, which you can watch below, showcasing their talents in the ‘Ultimate Challenge’. The challenge produced many laughs, some great skill and a few howlers.

Legend Ian Bell hosted the challenge at Brentwood CC in Essex, ably assisted by Monty Panesar, as the ‘old boys’ – Alex Tudor and Chris Read, took on the ‘youngsters’ – Stuart Meaker and Jade Dernbach.

Three challenges awaited our Legends with each task involving the use of a brand new Neon bat.

First up was the ‘Rapid Bat and Ball’ challenge where our teams had to hit the ball to each other over the net as many times as possible in a minute. Any drops would result in losing five points.

Meaker and Dernbach went first and posted an impressive 48 points, however it was no match for the experience of Tudor and Read who eased passed them with 64 to take a 1-0 lead.

Next was the ‘Hit the Helmet’ challenge, which involved our Legends playing some ‘cricket golf’. Teeing of first was Tudor but his shot was short and to the left. Next on the tee was Dernbach who decided to go with the ‘Tiger-line’ smashing the ball over the trees and cutting off the dog-leg shape of the hole to get to about 15 foot from the helmet.

The Legend’s gloveman then produced a fabulous second to get within 20 foot and Tudor expertly made the putt to hit the helmet in three shots.

Meaker had the opportunity to win the challenge for his team but left it short meaning his former Surrey teammate tapped in to also record a score of three. A point each as the Legend’s skipper and the former England wicketkeeper lead 2-1 going in to the last challenge.

The ‘Dizzy Bowl-off’ was our third and final task in the PCA England Legends Ultimate Challenge. After spinning round the Neon bat five times the Legends had to hit the stumps up the other end in sudden death style competition.

Following quite a few unsuccessful attempts from both sides it was once again the experience of Tudor that won the bowl-off and the overall challenge for his side.

Successfully hitting the stumps after many spins round the bat was a great effort and sparked jubilant scenes for the ‘old boys’ as the protests started from the ‘youngsters’. However the umpire on the day, Ian Bell, declared it a fair delivery, backed up by a video replay.

The PCA England Legends have partnered up with Neon for the first time this year. The brand provide high quality bats for the Legends players to use during games as well as providing bats for host clubs to use in their fundraising efforts.

PCA England Legend and Neon co-owner, Ian Bell, said: “It was a great day catching up with some old teammates in front of the cameras to film the PCA England Legends Ultimate Challenge.

“There was some great team work, terrific skill and some good fun all on display.

“The Legends always bring fun and excitement to the young and old wherever they go and I’d encourage any club to get in contact for a fixture in 2023.”

The PCA England Legends are former England cricketers who travel the length of the country to play in showcase events and teach youngsters at clubs and schools. In doing so they raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for the grassroots game whilst inspiring and entertaining the next generation.

If you want to see the PCA England Legends at your club for the 2023 season get in touch here: https://www.thepca.co.uk/pca-england-legends/

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