Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Australians enjoy a fortnight in Leicester

Ricky Ponting famously warned his Australian squad that they faced a fortnight in Leicester if they were eliminated from the Twenty20 world cup.

And now they have been.

The Leicester Mercury reports that local people are doing their best to make them feel at home:

Martin Peters, chief executive of Leicester Shire promotions, said: "As disappointed as Ricky Ponting and the Australian team will be following their defeat, they can comfort themselves with the fact that Leicestershire offers many delights for the players to enjoy during their enforced stay.

"Several years ago, Sir Terry Wogan offered a very similar comment before he'd visited the area, and now brings his annual fan club convention here every year.

"We hope Ricky and the Australian team will take away a suitably positive feeling after they've had a chance to spend some of their leisure time here." Free time options include trips to the National Space Centre, Twycross Zoo, Bosworth Battlefield, Great Central Railway and Conkers National Forest centre.

If they fancy a taste of home in the form of a cold Victoria beer, the staff at Walkabout Australian pub in Granby Street, in the city centre, will make them more than welcome.

Manager Neil Pipe, who is English, said: "We'll do them a barbie to help them take their minds off the results and we'll try not to take the mick too much.

"They can watch the rest of the tournament on the big screens, as they aren't in it any more."

Local cricketers are also being helpful:
Kibworth Cricket Club secretary John Bleby said: "If they are short of matches and can stump up the fees, we could get them in the Market Harborough Midweek League."
And Mr Bleby thoughtfully added:
"If Ricky doesn't like the thought of coming to Leicester, he's obviously never played in Derby."
Photo borrowed from JonHall on Flickr.

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