They have clocked up countless runs and have a combined age higher than a record innings, but this could be the last season the Wales Over 60s Cricket Team takes to the crease, as new health and safety requirements come into play.
Now in their fifth season the team, which includes players from across Wales, successfully made it to the final of last year’s Seevent National County ‘Over 60s’ championships, facing Kent in a thrilling match.
However, it could be game over for because new regulations will require the team to carry two defibrillators when at training and practice sessions and when playing their matches around the UK.
“Having not just one but two defibrillators at the side of the pitch when we play is going to be a requirement of playing in the national over 60s tournament. If we can’t provide them we won’t be able to compete,” said the team’s captain and opening batsman Mike Staddon (64) from Swansea.
To buy the potentially life-saving piece of equipment costs is a big outlay for a small organisation as defibrillators cost in the region of £700.
The team has been fortunate to the have one of the defibrillators sponsored by fellow team-mate Laurence Harris whose Pembrokeshire dairy company Trioni Ltd produces the sports recovery drink, Daionic Pro Nutrition Shake.
“We are all of a certain age, and while we like to think we are all still pretty fit, we obviously don’t want to take any chances and if we want to continue playing the sport we love we have to abide by the new regulations,” said 66 year-old Mr Harris who farms at Abercych.
With the team’s ages ranging from 60 -74 the players fully appreciate the new regulations are being introduced with safety in mind, and the equipment can quite literally be a lifesaver.
“There was an incident last year at a match in England where a player was taken ill, fortunately there was a defibrillator available,” said medium pace bowler, Ron Walton (70) from Merthyr Tydfil.
“We cannot thank Daionic and Laurence enough for sponsoring this vital equipment, and we are now looking to find a sponsor for the second machine.”