ROYTON’S John Punchard has helped England Over-60s retain the ‘Grey Ashes’ with a series win against Australia.
And to cap a memorable period, Punchard has been selected for this winter’s tour to Australia where they will try to retain them on foreign soil.
The Australia series of three one-day internationals was as usual a great spectacle with England edging a hard and close-fought contest 2-1.
It began when England won by 11 runs at Maldon, Essex, where they made 182-3 before dismissing Australia for 171, Punchard claiming two wickets for 42 runs.
England clinched the series at Kidderminster where they triumphed by four wickets in the last over.
Australia scored 189-6 and England hit 191-6 in reply, Punchard scoring 60.
In the last match at Hove, England were bowled out for 95 and Australia scraped home scoring 96-9.
“The Ashes win rounded off a great international season in which we played on some great grounds,” explained Punchard.
Earlier England played a one-off match against Pakistan seniors at Oswestry where England recorded a resounding victory.
“It was extra special for me as I was chosen to captain the side due to injury to regular captain John Foster (formerly of Werneth). I also scored 76 not out and was awarded the man of the match,” he explained.
Punchard is not the only local player selected for the Ashes tour as he will be joined by Littleborough’s Chris Dearden.
On the domestic front things going well for Punchard who is again captaining Crompton seconds in the Lancashire League second team premier division.
They recently beat Rishton to reach the final of the Telegraph Cup second team competition where they will face Ramsbottom in the final on Saturday, August 3.