CRICKET: George, 71, earns first England cap on Ashes tour to Australia

George Fox (right) receives the Man of the Match award from former Australian fast bowler Geoff Dymock
George Fox (right) receives the Man of the Match award from former Australian fast bowler Geoff Dymock

Kilsby batsman named Man of the Series with average of 97

Earning an England cap representing his country in the Over-70s Ashes tour to Australia was a great honour for cricketer George Fox.

The Kilsby opening batsman was named man of the series with an average of 97 as England triumphed 2-1 to retain the Ashes they held from the inaugural 2013 competition.

Now George, 71, is looking forward to England’s defence next summer on home soil.

A member of Bitteswell Cricket Club for over 30 years, he plays Over-60s cricket for Leicestershire.

He was delighted to receive a call from the chairman of the national seniors championship, Martin Pearse, inviting him to Australia - as long as he was old enough!

The retired telecoms engineer enjoyed just over three weeks down under, playing the three Tests in Brisbane, Sydney and Canberra and one of the warm-ups, where England faced former top Aussie fast bowler Geoff Dymock.

George scored 51 not out retired and received the man-of-the-match award.

The first Test match was played at the beautiful Alan Border Oval in Brisbane.

England batted first and with John Stuck hitting 106 and George 83 from 101 balls, they reached 279 for 3.

“The Aussies were 172 for 3 after 35 overs when the heavens opened and monsoon weather hit us. The match was abandoned so we won on the Duckworth/Lewis method,” explained George, a former Valley Sports footballer in the late 60s and early 70s.

“The second Test was played at the iconic ground the North Sydney Oval, where all the greats of the past have played from Donald Bradman onwards.

“We batted first and with a slow outfield from the 10am start with dew on the ground, scored 207 for 4,” he said.

Although the Australians won comfortably with just one wicket down, George scored 71 from 104 balls and received the Aussie choice of man of the match.

With everything to play for, the final Test was at the Manuka Oval Canberra. Here England scored 271 for 8, setting themselves up to win the Seevent-sponsored series.

This time George hit 87 from 98 balls and Australia ended up with 156 all out, thanks to Ronnie Walton with 5 for 9, taking the last four wickets in one over - all bowled - just missing out on a hat-trick.

“It was beyond all my dreams to play and receive my England cap. It was a fantastic experience,” George added.

“The batting strips at the Test Match grounds were a joy to bat on. You could just hit through the ball.

“Just to walk out on the same steps as Donald Bradman and all the greats put me on top of the world!

“I hope the form continues next season as the Aussies are coming here bent on revenge!”

Originally from the north-east, George’s school only played football and it wasn’t until he moved here as an 18 year old that he joined Oakfield cricket club for a season, before spells with Newbold and Rugby CC, and then spending much of his career with GEC Rugby.

When GEC came out of the Leicester League he switched to Bitteswell where he has played ever since.