Australian 050s first UK tour game vs Gloucestershire at Thornbury Gloucestershire on Sunday 16 July 2017.

Finally after many trials and tribulations the inaugural Australian 050s side played its first ever UK tour game. After the mandatory morning swim at 8am and a hearty English breakfast to calm first game nerves the team ventured off in a 5 car convoy on the M5 from Cheltenham to rural Thornbury.

Upon arrival we were met by local icon Phil Thorn who promptly beckoned us to the local Thornbury Castle which is the only Tudor Castle to presently operate as a Hotel. History has it that in July 1510 exactly 507 years to the day of our arrival this morning, Edward Stafford the 3rd Duke of Buckingham obtained a royal Licence to work at his manor on the edge of the Cotswolds. A descendant of the Plantagenet kings of England he had impeccable bloodline, was well connected and wealthy just like our Captain Paul Stenhouse. Akin to Paul his aim was to build the grandest noble home in the kingdom. Fortunately for Paul the favourable comparison ends there as the unfortunate Duke was summoned by Henry VIII in April 1521 and was executed on Tower Hill on 17 May 1510.

Cricket at Thornbury started well before 1850 and in 1871 the club was formed by Dr.Edward Mills Grace older brother of the famous W G Grace. All 3 Grace brothers played in the first test vs. Australia in 1880 and also played for Thornbury CC. In the early years the square was very small and the outfield manicured by sheep. There was no cricket played in the First World War as the oval was used making hay for the troops. In 1963 the sons of Dr EM Grace and the nephews of WG Grace opened the new wooden pavilion. The club’s most recent famous cricketer was off spinner David Allen who played for England 39 times between 1960 and 1966 but was smashed onto the hill several times by Alan Davidson in the Manchester Test to see Richie Benaud spin the Aussies to a famous victory.

The day commenced with the skipper Paul Stenhouse winning the toss and batting on a green hard wicket. The rules of engagement were 45 overs; bowlers 9 overs; 4 in the circle and the Australians to recycle at 45 but the Gloucesterians to bat unlimited.

Our team consisted of Paul Stenhouse (C);Alan Chellew; Noel Raymond; Warwick Hayes; David Crocker; Mal Coleman; Bob McGee; Rob Lloyd (Wk);Wayne Miles; Mick Munro and Ross Belstead.