Vicar is ready to hit major for six

A BAT-wielding vicar hopes to lead his side to victory in Axbridge's annual rector versus mayor cricket match. The teams are made up of players associated with the town council and church. But the vicar has not taken part since the contest was resurrected

A BAT-wielding vicar hopes to lead his side to victory in Axbridge's annual rector versus mayor cricket match.The teams are made up of players associated with the town council and church. But the vicar has not taken part since the contest was resurrected in 1997.Axbridge's new vicar, Reverend Tim Hawkings, who is something of a dab hand in the field, has agreed to take part in the match in Chapel Allerton on July 2.Rev Hawkings, who played as an all-rounder while at Bristol Grammar School, said: "I've played cricket in the past and I've been a lifelong supporter of Somerset County Cricket Club."One of my few claims to fame was when I was a lad aged about 11 I watched Somerset play Congresbury. Somerset turned up one member short and the captain saw me and my brother and asked if either of us would play."I played alongside Greg Chappell, who went on to captain the Australian team."They were very kind to me and I did okay on the day, making a score of two not out."I haven't played for a long, long time, but I'm happy to be taking part in this Axbridge tradition."Match organiser and rectors' player Mike Day said: "The previous vicar wasn't really a sportsman and that's why we are quite excited this year because we've got Tim."Mayor Barry Hamblin said: "I'm confident of victory unless the reverend calls for divine intervention."The match will start at 2.30pm.


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