Age is just a number for two cricket veterans who are champing at the bit to play for England Over-70s this weekend.
John Evans and Keith Daniels have graced the local cricket scene for decades, the seasoned duo captaining Frocester and Stroud, respectively. They will now join forces to represent England Over-70s in a 50-overs clash against Wales at Stourport-on-Severn this Sunday.
‘Evo’ who turns 71 on Friday, is delighted to make his England bow after two operations hampered his chances to pull on the jersey in his 60s: “I’m very pleased to represent England Over-70s for the first time, having missed out on Over-60s with two knee operations,” said Evans, who is now chairman of Frocester and will bat at number four for England. Still seeing the ball well, Evans has no intention of hanging up his whites despite taking up umpiring this season for Frocester in the County League, he added: “I’m lucky with my health and fitness and want to keep that up for as long as possible.”
Going into the match against Wales, the pair are on top form with the bat. Evans is fresh from a career-best unbeaten 153 for Gloucestershire Over-70s against Worcestershire, and Daniels, who will reach 72 not out on Saturday, will open for England – having already scored more than 700 runs this summer and amassed a hundred 100s over the years for clubs such as Stroud, Cranham, Cotswold, Gloucestershire Gypsies and St Luke’s College as well as in representative games.
“To get the chance to represent your country at the sport you have played and loved all my life is an unbelievable honour,” acknowledged Daniels. “I was elated to represent England Over-60s cricket team 10 times, and during those matches scored a 98 not out in an Australian tour test followed by five wickets for 11 runs in the next test match. When Australia toured England I had the honour of captaining the England side against them at Stroud, so, therefore, I nearly achieved the treble so to speak.
“I am looking forward to representing England again and hoping I will be able to make a reasonable contribution during the 70s International this Sunday at Stourport.”
Cricket certainly remains in Daniels’ blood, where he still turns out for Stroud 2nds and 3rds.