Yesterday I attended the inaugural lunch for Luke Wright, the prolific one day batsman of Sussex, held at the Grand, Brighton. I have been attending such lunches for over 35 years and in that time the format has scarcely changed at all. The aim is to pack in as much in as possible to generate money for the beneficiary, who normally allocates too, a proportion to his nominated charities. What has changed is the financial status of the beneficiary . In the old days it really existed to reward the loyal yeoman who played 10 seasons for his county but not his country, which would only be test cricket. Luke Wright has played both in the Indian Professional League and Australian big bash so he has made a good living no from the game and I certainly do not begrudge him that. He has served Sussex well primarily in the limited over format.
The event yesterday had to include in 4 hours an introductory greeting and video presentation by MC Ed Giddins, a game called heads and tails, a q & a with Andrew Strauss, a comedian’s act, a live and silent auction and raffle. It could have done with reduction at least in time of some of these. Each lot took about 5 minutes to auction and – as there were 9 – this lasted 45 minutes and you could see the guests getting restless.
Our table consisted mainly of fellow members of the 1901 club at Brighton. We had a lively conversation but there was always seemed something in the progamme to interrupt us. Although women were present the event was male orientated. Call me old-fashioned if you like but I don’t find a blue comedian liberally using the ‘f’ word that funny and my lady neighbour whose husband sits on front of me at the Amex reproached us weak men as young lovelies loosely clad in black as hostesses were selling ties, raffle tickets with a ever present, gleaming smile. Still, if the aim was to generate funds for Luke, then it must be deemed a success.
A few months ago on another Friday night not so long ago Fulham were beaten by 5 at the Cottage by Watford and I know Alan is seriously worried that, with their poor goals average, and – unlike the Seagulls – no sign of any positive momentum or consistency, the relegation trap door is opening below them.