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'Village Ashes' battle rejoined.

Byline: Andy Walker

FORGET the spotlight of the Test arena - Englishmen and Aussies will be battling for bragging rights on a Warwickshire village green on Sunday.

Billed as the "Village Ashes", Temple Grafton, near Alcester, will witness the latest twist in the great sporting rivalry between England and Australia.

Fresh from watching Andrew Strauss's side face Ricky Ponting's boys in the first Test of this summer's Ashes, a Temple Grafton CC Chairman's XI face the Australian Wattlesprigs, a touring team from down under.

The Wattlesprigs are a 48-strong squad of Australians, largely from Victoria, who are on a playing and sightseeing tour of Britain for a month.

As well as watching this week's Test in Cardiff, the Wattlesprigs plan to face 13 other teams, including a game against the Barmy Army and a Twenty20 match against Claverdon tomorrow.

The home side will be made up of a mixture of Temple Grafton and Cotswold Hills League players.

This is not the first time a select Temple Grafton outfit and the Wat-tlesprighave played each other and, as chairman Alan Mann points out, revenge is on the cards for the hosts.

"This is the second time we've played the Australian Wattlesprigs and we are delighted to welcome them back to the GCG," he said.

"In 2005, they gave a Temple Grafton side a real thrashing, so hopefully my select team will be a better match for them this time around."

Temple Grafton Cricket Club play in the grounds of Grafton Court, off New Road, Alcester. Entrance is free for the fixture, which gets under way at 2pm. Spectators are welcome.


Ashes Grafters: Groundsman Howard Benjamin, opening batsman Tom Benjamin and chairman Alan Mann.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jul 9, 2009
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