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Ian Blackwell among host of cricket legends in all-star charity game at Taunton Cricket Club

LashingsFormer Somerset and England star Ian Blackwell will join a host of big names from the world of cricket taking part in a special match at Taunton Cricket Club this coming Sunday September 7.

Two other bowlers with Somerset connections, Dirk Nannes and Yasir Arafat have also been named as part of the all-star Lashings World XI squad for the game at Gipsy Lane.

The fixture will provide a fitting finale to Taunton’s season which has seen them promoted from the Bristol and Somerset Division of the West of England Premier League.

Fresh from celebrating that promotion, the Taunton lads are optimistic about causing an upset and beating a team full of international experience.

Lashings describe themselves as the Harlem Globetrotters of cricket and feature mainly retired big-name players who travel the country playing high-profile fund-raising matches against club sides.

Their side at Taunton on Sunday will be captained by former England all-rounder Phil DeFreitas.

As well as Blackwell, who’s been plying his trade for Wembdon this summer, other former England players in the Lashings ranks include spinner John Emburey and batsman Owais Shah. There are some big-name overseas stars too, including former Gloucestershire and Australian all-rounder Ian Harvey, India’s Wasim Jaffer and Pakistan’s Saqlain Mushtaq.

Abell2The Taunton side of course will feature their own local star in Tom Abell who has an imposing batting average of 128 for his league club this season, as well as making 95 in his first-class debut for Somerset a couple of weeks ago.

Speaking before his club gained promotion at the weekend, Taunton skipper Jack Cooper told the Cricket World website: “This is a great a chance to showcase our fantastic club against the most famous club of all.

“We’ve got a very close knit squad this year and everyone is really excited about the chance to play in this fixture.

“Obviously things haven’t always gone our way over the past few seasons, but we’ve still got a shot at promotion next week and we’re hoping to finish off our amazing turnaround as a club with a win against Lashings.”

The action gets underway on Sunday from 3pm at Taunton Vale Sports Club. Entry is free for everyone! There will be a fully licenced bar and a BBQ as well as plenty of stalls, doughnut and ice cream vans and a bouncy castle, offering fun for all the family.

Preliminary Lashings XI squad: Phil DeFreitas*, Wasim Jaffer, Saqlain Mushtaq, John Emburey, Chris Schofield, Darren Maddy, Alex Tudor, Owais Shah, Dirk Nannes, Ian Harvey, Yasir Arafat, Ian Blackwell

Taunton Cricket Club squad: Jack Cooper*, Jon Kerslake+, Charles Clist, Chris Davenport, Tom Abell, Rob Hake, George Webber, George Cook, Harry Popplewell, Chris Greenwood, Ben Orr