After an injury-hit start to 2017, Ryan Sidebottom’s swansong season is finally up and running, yet it is not just on the pitch that the Yorkshire cricketer has big plans.
The Thorp Arch-based 39-year-old had targeted another County Championship title as being the perfect way to sign off after two decades in professional cricket, but achieving that goal is not all the former England ace has set his focus on.
Sidebottom is aiming to use his testimonial season as a Tykes player to help raise funds for Martin House Children’s Hospice.
And, to help him do so, he has organised a number of events including two cricket matches to be played in Thorp Arch and Harrogate.
“Martin House Hospice is in Boston Spa and when I moved to live just around the corner in Thorp Arch I was approached and asked to be an ambassador,” said Sidebottom who missed the opening weeks of the 2017 campaign after picking up an injury in pre-season, but returned to action recently to play his part in back-to-back Roses clashes with Lancashire before taking eight wickets against Somerset this week.
“As a father of two, I jumped at the chance to help and I’m pleased that I can use my testimonial year to try and do my bit for them and the gravely ill children who they care for.
“I want to try and raise awareness and some funds as well. I’m chuffed to bits that I’m able to give something back.”
On August 19, Sidebottom’s Yorkshire CCC XI will take on Thorp Arch & Boston Spa, the York Senior League side for whom the fast bowler acts as an ambassador.
Then, on September 1, a Ryan Sidebottom celebrity XI will go head to head with Druids CC at Harrogate CC’s St George’s Road. Both fixtures will be Twenty20 games.
For more information or to find out how you can support Sidebottom and his charities through sponsorship, visit www.ryansidebottom.co.uk