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Students share cricketing feast with the Chef

Published: 29 March 2019 at 11:30

Action from the match at Fenner's

Match cements ties between university and Essex Cricket side featuring Sir Alastair Cook

Anglia Ruskin University cricketers pitted themselves against one of the greatest English batsmen of all time, Sir Alastair Cook, as part of closer ties between the university and Essex Cricket.

Several Essex Cricket players and staff on the men’s and women’s teams have links with Anglia Ruskin University.

This week, they were at Fenner’s cricket ground in Cambridge where the Essex men’s first XI took on the Cambridge Marylebone Cricket Club Universities (MCCU), a team comprised of ten players from Anglia Ruskin and one from the University of Cambridge, which Essex won by 286 runs.

It was the first time Cook had taken to the pitch in a first-class match since being knighted in the New Year’s Honours List, and he celebrated by hitting 150 on the first day, before Essex declared on 387 for 5. The MCCU hit 176 in response, before Essex extended their lead and set the students a daunting target of 444 after lunch on the final day. It was a step too far for the students, who managed 157 before being bowled out by the 2017 County Champions. 

Among the Anglia Ruskin students also involved with Essex Cricket Club is Rishi Patel, who took to the field for the MCCU and snaffled two catches on the opening day before hitting 33 with the bat on day two. Rishi is looking to break into the Essex first XI after a successful season with the second XI in 2018.

Rishi, a Sports Science student in his first year at Anglia Ruskin, said:

“It’s been a great experience playing with the MCCU lads and playing against experienced players on the opposition. It’s been a good contest to try and challenge myself and perform to the best of my ability.

“The aim for this year is to work hard in the second team and try and break into that first team and hopefully go on to play first-class cricket.”

Other ties between the clubs include Kelly Castle, an all-rounder and Sports Science student who has played for Essex since 2012. Leisure and Tourism Management alumnus Arfan Arkram is currently working as the club’s East London Cricket Co-ordinator, and Sean Healey works as the club’s Performance Analyst, having studied at Anglia Ruskin from 2012-2016.

The MCCU take on Nottinghamshire on Sunday (31 March) in a three-day game, before playing Worcestershire in another first-class match from 5-7 April.