Cricketer's high hopes for Olympic showdown
THE captain of Castle Cary Cricket Club said it will be a "proud moment" to lead the side out in next week's Olympic showdown.
Starting on Sunday, Castle Cary will host a five-day cricket festival to celebrate the club's 175th anniversary and the countdown to the London Olympics.
Skipper Colin Bontoft will lead out the Castle Cary side during the festival's climax – a showdown with a French team next Thursday.
He said: "It will be a really proud moment to captain the side during the game. This will go down in the town's history.
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"There is pressure on our shoulders and there are definitely nerves. With so many people travelling over from France, not only do you want to make sure the week runs smoothly, but we also want to give a good account of ourselves on the pitch.
"Nobody wants to be embarrassed, so all of the squad are desperate to bring their A-games on the day and show that we are all very capable cricketers. We are all up for it.
"We've all been looking forward to this so fingers crossed the weather will hold up. It will be such a shame if the recent rain continues to fall, and if it goes against us, we might have to get out the tiddlywinks."
England won the only Olympic gold medal ever awarded for cricket when they defeated a French side at the 1900 Paris Olympics.
The team, made up of players from the Somerset and Devon Wanderers, included five players from Castle Cary.
Cricket club chairman Steve Chaudoir said: "Lots of people from the community have shown their support for the event and I'm sure many of them are brushing up on their French.
"It has all come around very fast and is really exciting for everyone involved in Castle Cary. It's a unique event and hopefully the town will come out in force to support us."
The festival starts on Sunday with a match between Castle Cary and a President's XI, made up of players who won the 1991 Somerset Minor Cup.
The following day, the town's youth team will take on a team of parents, followed by the annual junior presentations.
On Tuesday, the French side will warm up against Old Blundellians in Tiverton, while Wednesday will see a Twenty20 match between the visitors and Castle Cary.
The festival's finale and Olympic match will take place next Thursday from 10.30am at the Donald Pither Memorial ground, with a commemorative dinner and medal ceremony on the evening at Caryford Hall.
For more information about the festival, contact Mr Chaudoir on 01963 440770.