Yesterday I attended with friends the closing lunch of the Luke Wright benefit year. Luke is captain now of Sussex but it’s not been the greatest year for his team with relegation, finishing bottom of the Royal London southern section and falling at the quarter finals of the T20. However, relegation does not have the same consequences of losing Premier football status. All four finalists in the white ball format this year came from the second division.
These lunches are long affairs encapsulating a three course meal, q &a with guest Stuart Broad, who grew up at Leicestershire with Luke Wright, an auction and a hypnotism show. Proceedings ended at 5-30. Luke is a lovely lad, I remember when Dawid Malan of Middlesex was striking the ball to all parts of Hove including the rooftop of a Ferrari in Palmeira Avenue and on a lady’s head in the hospitality section. The first to tend for her was Luke who sprinted from his field position. However he plays T20 cricket in India and Melbourne. It’s not like the old days when a solid yeoman of the county needed a nest egg for the next phase of his career.
The hyponotist Ian Dee invited 10 guests onto the stage. A few subsequently left as they were immune to hypnosis. The remaining six under trance mimed the playing of a piano, guitar, one fellow standing up Jimi Hendrix style jamming. The same fellow was induced to speak Chinese. Of course there was some scepticism that the fellow was a stooge but it would be hard to have six as I recognised one lady with a green dress on the adjoining table.
Next year the beneficiary is the Sussex CCC charity. The focus therefore will be more on the club than on one player. Sussex is great county club with its seaside ground at Hove and we 3000 members like to support it as best we can. Of concern is in the absence of a sponsor and whether the 2 festivals at Arundel, the prettiest ground in the country, and Horsham will continue next season. The powers that be based in London do not always realise let only empathise that the game is county not metro cricket.