Cricket legend Dave Callaghan heads an illustrious list of sporting stars that will participate in a celebrity sixes cricket tournament in aid of the Cancer Association of South Africa in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, May 15.
Callaghan’s association with the event, said organiser Laurence Finn, was natural given his successful return to the game after being diagnosed with cancer in the mid-nineties.
The all-rounder will be joined by 35 other sporting legends and current stars, including cricketers Pat Symcox and Meyrick Pringle, rugby player Chad Alcock, athletics star Okkert Brits and swimmer Roland Schoeman.
“It’s going to be a really nice event. The way it’s structured gives everyone an opportunity,” said Callaghan, once the holder of the highest one-day international score for South Africa.
“The mix of national and local celebrities will give the tournament the exposure it needs to succeed in its goal. It is also a recipe for fun.”
As a cancer survivor, Callaghan believed he had an important role to play in motivating and inspiring those affected by the disease.
“When you see people who have overcome it participating in sports, it serves as an inspiration to sufferers and anyone else affected by it. It is important to show that cancer can be beaten.”
The event, which is modelled on the famous Hong Kong Sixes, will take place on a purpose-built pitch at New Horizon Village off Old Cape Road (just past Rowallan Park).
Finn said they hoped to recreate the atmosphere found in village cricket tournaments in Britain where locals go to their village green to watch superstars in action.
He said the rules of the Celebrity 6s – the event’s official name – were fairly straightforward and have been designed to give all players a chance to participate.
“In each match, two teams of six players will each face five overs. Every fielder bowls one over and batsmen can only score a maximum of 31 runs.”
Finn said an average game lasted about 40 minutes and a roaming master of ceremonies would interview players during matches.
“This is a fun, spectator friendly event incorporating world-class sportsmen. Just imagine the scene when Pat Symcox bowls to Okkert Brits while Roland Schoeman keeps wicket.”
Callaghan said he was looking forward to taking on the “other” sporting stars. “It’s always funny to see how they handle a bat and ball. I’ve seen some of the biggest and toughest rugby players run away from a cricket ball.”
The teams – branded Atlas Security, BondChoice, Eastern Cape Motors, Imison, New Horizon Village and Radisson Blu – will be selected by lucky draw at the VIP function at the Radisson Blu hotel the evening before the event.
“Each sponsor will draw one name from each of six boxes containing the names of captains, local cricketers, national rugby stars, local rugby players, sporting legends and local legends,” said Finn.
The tournament runs from 8am to 5pm and a donation will be asked at the gate. A beer tent and other festivities will complement the cricket.
For more information, contact Finn on 084 507 3175.
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