Mark Butcher and Shaun Pollock welcomed guests to The Kia Oval for the Bedser Lunch on the eve of the final Test Match of the series between England and South Africa, raising funds for the Surrey Cricket Foundation.
The event, hosted by broadcaster Kate Mason, started with a drinks reception on the Lock Balcony, followed by a three-course meal in the new 175 Suite of the Galadari Stand. The lunch concluded with Butcher and Pollock giving the 200 guests in the room their thoughts on the final Test of the summer, an insight into their playing days as well as discussing the future of the game.
The annual lunch is the flagship fundraiser for the Surrey Cricket Foundation (SCF), who are responsible for recreational cricket across the county and welcomed the Wandsworth Chance to Shine Street participants who recently won the national Young Adults competition at Lord’s.
Chance to Shine Street cricket is a fun, fast-paced version of the game played with a tapeball – a tennis ball wrapped in electrical tape – and an innings lasts just 20 balls. The Surrey Cricket Foundation run 15 Street projects across the county giving young people from the ages of eight-24 access to the game in urban areas with a lack of green space.
SCF work with schools, clubs, charities and governing bodies to increase participation in the sport, particularly amongst those who haven’t traditionally played the game. They also run cricket for good programmes, using cricket as the tool to engage young people and improve their lives.
Speaking after the event, Director of Participation, Chris Coleman said “We’re very grateful to everyone who came along to support the Foundation. The Bedser Lunch is a special event and it raises a significant amount of money to fund our work at the grassroots of the game, helping those like our Wandsworth Street cricketers get opportunities to play the game. Mark [Butcher] and Shaun [Pollock] were fantastic, entertaining everyone in the room with their stories and their insights into what to expect from the Test.”
Find out more about the work of the Surrey Cricket Foundation here.