Spectators packed into Emerald Headingley to witness the final thrilling day of the third Ashes Test included members of Yorkshire CCC Players’ Association who were riveted by the non-stop action which resulted in a pulsating one-wicket victory for England, courtesy of an incredible 135 not out from Ben Stokes.

The Association’s former players and guests benefited from Yorkshire chief executive Mark Arthur’s invitation to watch the day’s play from the Wardle Suite on the fourth floor of the Carnegie Pavilion.

Fittingly, among those present was former Yorkshire captain, Chris Old, who had played a key role in England’s sensational win over Australia at Headingley in 1981.

Although Ian Botham and Bob Willis were the heroes of the hour on that occasion, Chris was instrumental in England’s batting revival by scoring 29 and adding 67 with Botham for the ninth wicket before going on to clean bowl Allan Border to leave Australia rocking on 65 for five as they chased 130. They were bowled out for 111, Willis overpowering them with eight for 43.

Other Association members at Headingley for the Ben Stokes show included former Yorkshire and England batsman, Ken Taylor, and Richard Lumb and Peter Stringer who had both flown in from South Africa.

Neil Hartley, Association chairman, said: “It was a memorable day and it was great to see our president, Barrie Leadbeater, in such fine form. Chris Old was very keen to talk us through his contribution to the 1981 Headingley Test! Well played, Chilly!

“It was also good to greet two new members of the Association in Gordon Grace and Doug Burnett. Generally, it was just a great day out made even better by Stokes’ sensational performance and our thanks are due to Mark Arthur for so generously providing us with a room from which we could watch the game build up to its exciting climax.”

David Warner

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