Playing the Lashings World XI – made up of legends of the game – is a treat for any cricketer so it’s nice to know how they felt playing their idols too.

Current Lashings squad member, Surrey legend and former England One Day captain Adam Hollioake still remembers when he first encountered his childhood hero on the cricket field.

Talking to Vibe, Adam, 43, said: “I was lucky, I played against Viv Richards. He was my cricketing idol.

“He was the only man I had a poster of on my wall. I had a few women on there, don’t worry about that, but he was the only man who managed to make it onto the Hollioake wall of fame.



“It was amazing. I got goosebumps when he walked out to bat. I’d seen him all my childhood on TV so to be there playing against him was unbelievable.

“I’m sure he wasn’t quite the player he was in his 20s but still the aura was there, the strut was there. To even be on the same field as him gave me goosebumps.”

That feeling will likely become familiar to those amateur cricketers taking on Lashings this summer – they Bromley CC on August 12, Eynsford and Bexleyheath on August 23 and have a golf day at Hampton Court on September 3.

The Lashings their roster includes arguably the World’s fastest-ever bowler Jeff Thomson, Pakistan spin king Saqlain Mushtaq, Windies fast bowling legend Courtney Walsh and record-breaking batsman Gordon Greenidge.

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For Adam though, the appeal of playing for Lashings is largely the chance to catch up with some old mates.

He said: “The other way is for us to go out and meet up in a bar – this is a healthier way of catching up in the old environment we used to be in.

“I think we all do. We always have a good laugh.

“We’re all a yard slower than we were back in the day, I think we have all come to terms with that and I think we all enjoy each other’s company and the competitiveness is still there just as much.”

Australian-born, Adam moved to Weybridge aged 12 and played four test matches and 35 One Day Internationals for England in the late 1990s, captaining the side on 14 occasions.

The all-rounder is probably best known, however, for his leadership of Surrey. As captain he guided them to County Championships in 1999, 2000 and 2002 and collected nine trophies in all before retiring in 2004 (he made a brief comeback in T20s for Essex in 2007).

He said: “They were probably some of the most enjoyable years of my life. I loved playing for Surrey.

“I felt like I belonged there and I felt like I had a lot of respect there and I felt that my greatest cricketing successes came at Surrey.

“My memories there are very strong. I have to be careful not to dwell on it too much because those memories are so strong you can easily become a prisoner of your past and spend your life living off those days.

“It’s a great county, a beautiful part of the world. I feel very lucky to have grown up there and I look back on it with fond memories.”

He added: “I always look back to 1999 and winning that first championship for Surrey since 1971. Then going out and drinking a lot of beer in a very short period of time with my best mates, I would say that was probably my best moment.”

 “We won it with guys who I played cricket with since I was 12 years old. It felt like a lifetime achievement.”

Being born in Australia and raised in England, Adam is understandably intrigued on the on-going Ashes contest which has, to date, see-sawed dramatically from England’s favour to Australia’s.

Adam said: “Ashes series are never dull but this one has certainly captured my attention.

“It’s a good one at the moment, isn’t it – two games, neither of them close and one thrashing each.

“You’d say it is effectively a three match series now but maybe Australia has got the momentum having won the last game.

“I think a lot of it depends how England manage to bounce back. Australia managed it after the first test so it is a bit of a challenge for England to see if they can do the same.

“They have got a few questions to answer about what sort of pitches they’re going to play on and how they are going to stop this momentum they gathered at Lords.”

The talk leading up to the third test has been about personnel changes but it seems England have opted for just one, with Jonny Bairstow replacing Gary Ballance.

And Adam – arguably a victim of England’s revolving door selection policy of the nineties - was quick to warn against writing players off too soon.

He said: “I think that’s premature. If you want to try and learn anything, it’s always good to learn off your opponents.

“I think the way Australia took their defeat in the first test and regathered – they didn’t make too many changes - one guy had to retire for personal reasons and they made one change from a side that was completely outplayed.

“I think England could take a lesson from that and try and stick with their side and try and show faith in them and give the guys that lost the game for England the opportunity to put that right.

“That’s what I’d like to see happen. Whether that happens or not is a test of character for the selectors.

“It is very easy to panic and change things for the sake of it.”

Lashings play Bromley CC on August 12, Eynsford Bellegrove on August 23 and have a golf day at Hampton Court on September 3. Go to lashings.co.uk