Former Proteas off-spinner and all-rounder Pat Symcox is ready to “settle some old scores” at the Celebrity 6s cricket tournament that will be held in aid of the Cancer Association of South Africa at New Horizon Village in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
Symcox is one of 36 local and national celebrities who have donated their time to raise money for this charitable cause.
Included in the list are names like Olympians Roland Schoeman and Okkert Brits, golfer Titch Moore, racing driver Shaun Watson-Smith, rugby players Chad Alcock and Jaco Kirsten and gladiator and former Mr PE Clint Walters.
Symcox said on Thursday that he was especially looking forward to bowling to former roommate Dave Callaghan, whose personal battle with cancer hit national headlines in the mid-nineties.
“He rates himself as a good player of spin and he keeps telling me that he’s still making runs in the leagues. The bowling is obviously not on par.”
Symcox also took a dig at former Eastern Province and Proteas swing bowler Meyrick Pringle. “I love bowling, but I’m happy to bat as well – especially if Meyrick does the bowling.”
Warriors all-rounder Justin Kreusch was another to single out Pringle for special treatment. “I would like to get stuck into Meryck.”
Kreusch said Pringle had “abused” him early on in his career when he played for Border and that it was time for payback. “Of course, I’m hoping that he’s not as quick and as fit as he used to be.”
On a more serious note, the Warriors star said he was delighted to be involved. “If you have not been affected by cancer directly, you know of someone who has. When asked to take part, I was only to glad to help out.
“The object of the day is to raise funds, so one cannot take it too seriously. At the same time, I’m sure there will be a lot of competitiveness out there.”
Symcox, who represented South Africa in a cricket tournament for masters in the West Indies in December, said the tournament was about striking a balance. “My approach will be to have as much fun as possible without making a fool of myself.”
Symcox said it was fantastic to see past and current stars from different sporting codes uniting for the same cause. “I hope the public embraces the event.”
The tournament, which is modelled on the Hong Kong Sixes, will take place on a purpose-built pitch at New Horizon Village off Old Cape Road. Organiser Laurence Finn said they hoped to recreate the atmosphere found in village cricket in Britain.
“Each match lasts 10 overs with every fielder bowling one. Batsmen retire not-out when they reach 31.”
Finn said an average game lasted about 40 minutes and a roaming master of ceremonies would interview players during matches.
The teams – branded Atlas Security, BondChoice, Eastern Cape Motors, Imison, New Horizon Village and Radisson Blu – will be selected by lucky draw on Friday evening.
The event takes place between 8am and 5pm and a donation will be asked at the gate. There will be a beer tent and other festivities.
For more information, contact Finn on 084 507 3175.
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