THE Lashings World XI are to return to Burley in Wharfedale Cricket Club on Friday 30 June 2023, with the match commencing at 4pm.

Burley was the first team to beat Lashings in over three years at the inaugural game with them in 2019, so they’ll be looking for revenge this time out.

The club have announced the main sponsors for the event as: Arundel Travel, Maple Homes, Lindey and Simpson and Ison Harrison Solicitors.

Dave Fitzgerald, Managing Director, at Lashings World, said: "Lashings World XI are delighted to be returning to Burley in Wharfedale Cricket Club this summer. The club's inaugural cricket day with us in 2019 was a superb success and I am sure that the upcoming event will be equally fantastic. We thrive on taking our team of international legends to all different parts of the country and helping clubs to raise funds.

Burley achieved a thrilling win four years ago and I am sure the match on June 30 will be very competitive once again.”

Lashings were formed in 1984 when John Steer, a gentleman very much out of cricket’s old school told David Folb, the Lashings owner, of the plight of the Minstrel Wine Bar Cricket Club.

The team, from a pub just 200 yards down Maidstone’s Upper Stone Street, had been scheduled to play a team the following day in the less than idyllic surrounds of Mote Park only to find that their opposition had pulled out of the fixture.

Folb, a soccer fanatic with little or no previous interest in the gentleman’s game, hastily assembled a side for the fixture, quickly ringing around friends including his solicitor, bank manager and the venerable Mr Steer himself.

Even the Lashings manager John Tobin, an Irishman, was enlisted for the game having never played a game of cricket in his life before, or since.

And so this ragbag team took to the field and their performance matched the sum of their parts.

After their bowlers had been dispatched for 323 runs, Lashings amassed just 29 in their reply but such a one-sided outcome did not prevent Folb, ever the entrepreneur from starting up a Lashings cricket team on a permanent basis.

A list was put up in the bar and soon the Lashings cricket team had enough personnel to be able to field sides on a regular basis. However even someone as ambitious as Folb himself could not have forecast the way in which his side would grow and soon Lashings were successfully taking on many of the more established sides in the area. However, as the success of Lashings grew so too did the jealousy and accrimony towards it among members of the local cricket estalishment.

Leagues banded together to stop the rise of the team and the obstacles put in their way were often too numerable to mention. However such injustices only served to galvanise Lashings as a team not to mention the resolve of Folb, never a man to shirk a challenge. Folb’s biggest coup and perhaps still the biggest in terms of the development of the club was the signing of Richie Richardson, the former West Indies captain.

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Announcements that the great man who had only recently retired from Test cricket, would be joining aclub that was still little more than a pub team, were greeted by hoots of derision by the local media and sporting community. Geoff Clark, Meridian’s sports reporter, famously declared that he would eat his hat if ever the player played for Lashings. This was no small sacrifice for a gourmet like Clark and Panamas, bowlers and stetsens were quickly hidden away when Richardson announced his arrival at the Meridian newsroom.

Richardson’s impact could hardly be underestimated and soon some of the most famous names in cricket were on their way to Lashings. Muttiah Muralitharan was among the first, making his debut on the bottompitch at The Mote against the might of Cobham.

The Mote, who became one of Lashings’s most bitter early rivals refused to offer Muralitheran the centre stage of the top pitch despite the interest in the game because it was being used by their Sunday 2nd XI - happily the clubs are now reconciled. At the time however, Lashings were to become the bete noir of the local cricketscene, their very name being greeted by ridicule and cynicism. Even even appearances by the likes of Shoaib Akhtar and Brian Lara failed to quell the antipathy of the local masses.

Thankfully beyond the local opposition cricket was at least sitting up and taking notice on a wider scale and soon counties were entertaining Lashings at their grounds while the rising profile of the club was attracting big name sponsors - even though one of them reneged on the deal leaving Folb to meet a £250,000 shortfall in order to keep the club going and forcing the restauranteur and property owner to sell some of his properties.

However Folb was never going to be perturbed by such setbacks and new deals were still forthcoming as were the biggest names in the game of cricket.

In 2001 the club once again found itself in the eye of a media storm when Brian Lara, then arguably the biggest star in World Cricket, signed for Lashings and made his debut for the club at the University of Kent in front of the Sky Sports News cameras ...

... Lashings evolved into a slick corporate outfit over the bext few years. It became easier to list the international players who hadn’t appeared for us than those who had, but during the 2000s Alvin Kallicharan, Jimmy Adams, Rashid Latif, Wasim Akram, Allan Donald and Sir Viv Richards all wore the Lashings uniform.

It was the capture of Sachin Tendulkar in 2006, however, that took the club into another dimension.

When the news was announced the club’s website nearly crashed, with 40,000 fans trying to log on all at once. Sachin was “an absolute gentleman” in the words of those who played with him and worked for Lashings at the time .

Cricket, like Lashings, has changed beyond recognition since the club was born in 1984.

The Inception of the IPL in 2008 changed the game in ways few of us believed possible, extending the careers of top players well into their late 30s and giving cricketers riches they could never have dreamed off at the start of their careers.

When Lashings started they were able to recruit top players still at the peak of their powers. At times the team was akin to a West Indies Legends side and we also have a proud tradition of fielding top talent from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, alongside England legends and African superstars like Herschelle Gibbs, the Flower brothers and Henry Olonga, who used to open events with an unforgettable version of Nessun Dorma.

There’s always been room for a celebrity: among the stars to have played for us down the years are much-loved figures like Matt Le Tissier, Chris Evans and Nick Hancock. Piers Morgan and Borish Johnson have also appeared ...

Love Island’s Hugo Hammond, an England Disability XI international, also made his debut during the 2021 season and having become an instant favourite with fans and team mates alike, he is now a key part of the XI.

The Teams:


Jason Wright (c) #28

Gabe Field (wkt) #7

Nick Brook #1

Shane Etherington #10

Mark Harrison #45

Red Bolton #17

Lachlan Borsboom #34

Joe Hall #12

Nicky Bulcock #97

James Mukherjee #11

Josh Hastings #99

Matt Hastings #76

Lashings team – confirmed so far:

Chris Schofield (c)

Owais Shah

Adam Holliaoke

Samit Patel

Hugo Hammond (ex Love Island and England Disability International Cricketer)

Martin Bicknell

Saqlain Mushtaq

Sir Gordon Greenidge (Ambassador)

Commentating - Henry Blofeld