Sir Alastair Cook surprises Adel Cricket Club as they smash 12,472 runs in fundraising challenge
Young cricketers at a Leeds club have received a surprise message from Sir Alastair Cook after they completed a staggering 12,472 runs this weekend.
The junior teams at Adel Cricket Club, supported by senior players, set out on their Sir Alastair Cook Challenge on Friday morning with the aim of completing every run scored by the former England international in his test career.
The young sportsmen and women aimed to raise £10,000 to regenerate the club, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
Players knocked off all 12,472 runs, one at a time, over just three days and were rewarded with a special message from Sir Alastair who praised their efforts.
Under 13s coach Simon Griffin organised the fundraiser - which had raised more than £9,000 by the time the challenge was completed on Sunday afternoon.
Simon said: "Normally we do the Adel Beer Festival every year which is the main source of fundraising. We couldn’t do it last year and it left a huge shortfall.
"We were trying to organise a fundraising event that brought everyone together, without being physically together. The pieces of the puzzle came together with the idea of the challenge.
"Everyone is knackered, but so happy - no one has ever felt so pleased to be utterly exhausted. They’re a great bunch of lads."
Sir Alastair lended his support to the players in a video message.
He said: "I want to wish everyone all the best at Adel Cricket Club for this weekend's challenge. I hope you're enjoying it and have a great time and raise that £10,000 for your cricket club. It's a great effort - and good luck."
The players were thrilled to get the backing of their hero and the message spurred them on to finish the challenge earlier than expected on Sunday afternoon.
“The kids were whooping around," Simon, 44, said.
"He did pronounce Adel wrong, but when you’ve scored 12,472 runs, you’re allowed to call us what you like!"
Simon's 11-year-old son Maurice bagged an impressive 500 runs. Maurice is no stranger to a cricketing challenge, having smashed the world record for the longest ever cricket bowling run up when he was just nine.
"He’s a trooper," Simon added.
"Lockdown has been tricky, like many parents we’ve watched a lot of YouTube and Minecraft, so it was great for him to get outdoors and get outside.
"He’s pretty tired now, but he loves his cricket so he was happy to be involved."
You can donate and find out more about the Adel Cricket Club regeneration here.
Support the YEP and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news and the latest on Leeds United, With a digital subscription, you see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.