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Arran Brindle: Former England player and son Harry share century stand in club match

Arran Brindle hit a Test century for England against Australia at Hove in 2005

It’s not something you see very often on a cricket field, a mother and son batting together in a match.

When former England all-rounder Arran Brindle walked out to bat for Owmby Trojans on Sunday, however, it was 12-year-old son Harry with the pads on alongside her.

Clearly cricketing talent is in the genes as Harry had taken 4-27 to help bowl out Nettleham CC Academy for 141 in their Lincoln & District Division Three game.

And he wasn’t finished, sharing a match-winning opening partnership of 143 with mum – Arran making 94 not out off 101 balls and Harry unbeaten on 32 in the supporting role as they won by 10 wickets.

Arran wasn’t intending to open – in a team set up to develop young talent, she prefers to let them “do all the work”.

“I’m not usually down to bat very high in this side. But we had nine away playing county cricket, so we had a bit of a different mix of other youngsters coming in to play,” she told BBC Radio Lincolnshire.

“Unfortunately, nobody really fancied opening the batting so Harry volunteered me to join him.”

“I think it’s probably easier to bat with him than watching. As a parent, you’re just generally nervous watching your children play, when you know they want to do so well.

“To be at the other end, to be able to talk to him and go through that process is what the team was set up to be.

“It’s not about me scoring, it’s about how you go about things as a player, how you structure an innings and batting time, which obviously he did brilliantly yesterday.”

International pedigree

Arran, now 39, is used to achieving cricketing firsts.

She began playing cricket against boys at under-12 level in her native Lancashire and 10 years ago became the first woman to hit a century in a Lincolnshire Premier League men’s game, scoring 128 for Louth against Market Deeping.

Either side of the latter achievement, she appeared in 88 one-day internationals, 35 T20 matches and 11 Tests for England, scoring 2,852 runs in all formats and taking 57 wickets.

In 2002, when only 20 and still using her maiden name Arran Thompson, she shared a then record first-wicket partnership of 200 with Caroline Atkins during a Test match in India.

And, after a self-imposed five-year break from international cricket, she returned to help England win the Women’s Ashes in Australia in 2014.

Harry sometimes travelled with the England squad when his mum was playing, becoming an unofficial mascot.

The Ashes tour was her international swansong as she walked away from England duty for the last time.

But she still had one more first to go, helping Southern Vipers win the inaugural Women’s Super League in 2016.

Encouraging young talent

These days Arran is a teacher at Greenwich House School in Louth, but also fully involved in coaching her cricket-mad son and the other children in the Trojans set-up, who were denied any games last year because of Covid.

“Harry is very lucky. He goes over to a club in Lancashire and plays Saturday cricket over there and they have been great with him,” she said.

“He took five wickets on Saturday for the first team, but then to come back closer to home and play with a group of friends that you’ve grown up with is equally important.”

So who was the ‘senior’ partner while they were out in the middle together?

“I got told on numerous occasions that I wasn’t allowed to take any risky singles but, to be honest, there wasn’t even a close call, which was really good,” said Arran.

“My first game I batted in for Trojans, I got a golden duck, so to score runs yesterday kind of proved [to them] that anyone can get out, don’t worry about it and the next game, it could be your day.”

She added: “The entire season so far, there have been such highlights, players taking their first senior wicket, scoring their first boundary – and to be able to share the winning runs with your son, whether you’re a dad or a mum, is a special moment.”

Arran Brindle was speaking to BBC Radio Lincolnshire’s Melvyn Prior


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