Sunday saw the third Afghan Appeal Fund ‘Day of Cricket’ at the magnificent Burton Court by kind permission of General Peter Currie and the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, with teams from AAF, Freshfields, Army Wanderers and Eton College competing.
General Sir Peter Wall, Chief of the General Staff played for newcomers Army Wanderers and explained why he was supporting the charity: “We’re all very grateful for what the Afghan Appeal Fund does. It’s a tremendous enterprise; it’s got broad community support and it’s an excellent example of what other people in UK are doing beyond the military and beyond the government, to support the broad cause to bring normality to Southern Afghanistan in our case.” (Listen to the interview on BFBS Radio)
Eton College lost to sponsors Freshfields by a closely contested six wickets in the first match. The second saw AAF beat Army Wanderers by 45 runs. Opening the batting, AAF scored 145, with Max McAllister and Oliver Boutle top scorers. Team captain Kamal Alam then led the bowling and took the most wickets, despite stiff resistance from a strong partnership of Colonel Andy Harrison and General Sir Peter Wall.
Army team captain Col Matt Bazeley said, “It was a great pleasure for us to take part. A magnificent day for an extremely worthy cause with which we, in the Army, have a real affiliation. We’ll be back next year – but with an even stronger team.”
An exciting final between Freshfields and AAF proved to be a battle of cricketing pride. Once again Max led the way for the AAF with a top score of 48 and great support yet again from Oliver Boutle. But a win was not to be had, and AAF lost to Freshfields in the last over of the game.
The driving force behind ‘Day of Cricket’ Kamal Alam said, “It is great to have this event now in its third year, and to have Eton and Freshfields supporting education in Afghanistan. Cricket is a unifying force in the region, and the combination of cricket and schools is a way forward for the future.”
Special guest Dr. Mohammad flew in from Helmand on his way to the US. He is working in partnership with the AAF to build a 24 classroom school in Nad-e-Ali district of Helmand for over 1,000 children, and the £4,000 raised from the day will go towards the £65,000 still needed to complete the school.
Friend of the charity, BBC newsreader and journalist Kate Silverton presented the trophy to winners Freshfields.
The Afghan Appeal Fund trustees and committee would like to thank sponsors Freshfields, Forum For International Relations and SAAB, the players and all those who supported and contributed to the event to make it such a great success.