Durham’s champion cricketers’ charity challenge in memory of promising star

Cricketers swapped bats for bikes as took an early start for a mammoth charity bike ride. The Emirates Stadium at Chester-le-Street was the venue for the dawn start of a cycle ride to Lords Cricket Ground in London.'Ready for the off... cricketing cyclists line up at the Emirates Ground at Chester-le-Street.
Cricketers swapped bats for bikes as took an early start for a mammoth charity bike ride. The Emirates Stadium at Chester-le-Street was the venue for the dawn start of a cycle ride to Lords Cricket Ground in London.'Ready for the off... cricketing cyclists line up at the Emirates Ground at Chester-le-Street.
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PRO cricketers have swapped the wicket for wheels as they set off on a mammoth charity challenge in memory of a promising star.

Past and present players, including Durham’s Phil Mustard and former England fast bowler Darren Gough, are among those aiming to raise £200,000 by cycling the 441 miles from Durham to London.

The five-day ride, which began at Durham’s Emirates stadium in Chester-le-Street yesterday, will take in a number of England’s leading cricket grounds, including Headingley, Old Trafford, Trent Bridge, and the County Ground.

The riders will stop off at Leicester’s Grace Road and Wantage Road, Northampton, before departing for Lord’s on Wednesday for the final leg of the ride.

Other cyclists taking part in the five-day Big Bike Ride are England one-day international star Jos Buttler, Somerset’s Marcus Trescothick, Essex’s Graham Napier and Surrey’s Gareth Batty.

Money raised will be divided between the Tom Maynard Trust – set up in 2012 following the death of the Surrey player to support aspiring and disadvantaged cricketers - and the Professional Cricketers’ Association’s Benevolent Fund.

Tom’s dad, former Glamorgan batsman Matt Maynard, said: “It will be a gruelling ride for all concerned and an emotional one for many, including me, but we are all determined to complete it and raise money for two fantastic charities that are worthy of our support.”

To donate, go to http://thepca.co.uk/confirmed-riders.html.