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Legend ‘Evo’ to captain in England in Over 70s World Cup

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JOHN Evans will captain England in the inaugural Over 70s World Cup this summer with the line-up also featuring Gloucestershire team-mate Nigel Belletty and Steve Sheppard, of Bristol side St Mary Redcliffe.

The trio have been named in a 16-man squad for the seven-nation competition which gets underway on July 28 ahead of the final taking place two weeks later at Wormsley on August 11.

Two Gloucestershire players – top order batter Keith Daniels and spinner John Turton – are amongst a group of five players who have been placed on standby.

John Evans Nigel Belletty and Steve Sheppard who have all been named in the England squad for the inaugural Over 70s World Cup later this summer | Legend 'Evo' to captain in England in Over 70s World Cup
OHN Evans will captain England in the inaugural Over 70s World Cup this summer with the line-up also featuring Gloucestershire team-mate Nigel Belletty and Steve Sheppard, of Bristol side St Mary Redcliffe

Frocester chair Evans is naturally delighted at the prospect of leading his country in the new event which also features Australia, New Zealand, India, Wales, Sri Lanka and Canada.

‘Evo’, as he is universally known, said: “It’s a great honour and I’m really looking forward to it all.

“I was told about the captaincy a while ago, and that meant I went into the trial games under a little less pressure.

“You still, though, want to prove that you are worth your place so I was happy to score some runs recently. Now it’s a question, as it for all of us, to stay fit!

“Selection was incredibly hard and we had to leave out some outstanding players which shows how high the level is these days. I had to make some difficult phone calls as some of the selections were very close.”

Evo will be 73 shortly before the start of the World Cup which takes place at club grounds mainly in Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.

Wicketkeeper Belletty, who will be 71 in July, represented the Rest of the World in the 2022 Over 60s World Cup as England did not send a team.

He played club cricket in recent seasons for Stoke Bishop but is now concentrating on appearing for Gloucestershire Over 60s and adding to his 20 England caps.

Steve, meanwhile, already has five England Over 70 caps to his name. The swing bowler played at the now defunct Horfield club before joining Redcliffe 40 years ago.

And although he plays at county level for Somerset, Steve has lived in the Forest of Dean for some 20 years, travelling back regularly to Brislington for Redcliffe matches.

He said: “The cricket is very different from when we all started out but one thing that never changes is the banter!”

England’s first game is against Sri Lanka in High Wycombe on July 28 before meeting India (July 30, Slough), New Zealand (August 1, Marlow), Australia (August 6, Beaconsfield), Wales (August 8,  Bishop’s Stortford) and Canada (August 9, Wargrave).

Keith Daniels 2023 | Legend 'Evo' to captain in England in Over 70s World Cup
Keith Daniels

KEITH Daniels (77 not) and fellow opener John Evans (48) guided Gloucestershire O70s to an eight-wicket victory away to Wales who were restricted to 165-9.

Gloucestershire O60s saw off Wiltshire by five wickets at Corse & Staunton, Ed Gordon Lennox taking 3-20 and Ian Robson striking 51 at the top of the order.

But the 60s 2nds came up 20 runs short away to their Wiltshire counterparts despite Steve Pennington’s 4-16, and the 60s 3rds lost by four wickets at home to Wales.

Gloucestershire 50s 3rds went down by 178 runs away to their Welsh counterparts.

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