NOT even snow or sleet, let alone the more predictable rain, stopped play as England captain Joe Root returned to his old school in Sheffield.
Those were just some of the unusual weather conditions the Yorkshire batsman encountered on a surprise trip back to Dore Primary where he helped Chance to Shine launch Yorkshire Tea National Cricket Week.
Root, appointed Test skipper in February, joined a special assembly looking at his own time at the school before answering questions from pupils.
Then the 26-year-old headed out onto the playground to take part in a Chance to Shine session, bowling as Year Six children looked to belt him for six and offering batting tips along the way.
Root’s former headteacher Ian Wileman was in attendance too, and had his own recollections of the famous Yorkshireman who has progressed so far from his early days in the Steel City.
“The thing I remember about Joe with the other pupils was that he was not revered but a good example,” he said.
“He was a good lad. He got on with people, got on with things but the main thing was he would listen to people who had something to tell him about how to play.
“As for (school) captaincy, it was just something that came to him quite naturally and you wouldn’t think it was odd.
“He’d just say ‘move around there a bit, you need to be a bit further back.’ And because it was Joe and people respected what he said and did, that would just happen. He was a captain who led by example rather than what you might get from some kids. He was not that sort of all. He was an encourager.”
Root, of course, is not the only England captain Dore Primary has produced either with another of its alumni – Michael Vaughan – also having attended.
Dore Primary School’s PE co-ordinator Richard France said: “It’s been a brilliant experience for the children and for every kid to take part in that assembly in whatever way was great. They found out what school life was like for him and the subjects he liked.
“Obviously PE was one but he loved art too which was interesting for them to see. Then to come out here where Joe used to play is brilliant as well.
“Two England captains from one school? Not many other schools can say they have had that.
“We’ve had the Chance to Shine link since 2008 and it does great work; it really is inspiring children to play cricket.”
Meanwhile, Root is set to feature for Yorkshire Vikings in their Royal London One-Day Cup opener against Nottinghamshire Outlaws at Trent Bridge on Saturday.
Root said: “I’ve had an amazing day with Yorkshire Tea and Chance to Shine. Coming back to my old school has brought back so many memories of what a brilliant time I had here.
“Cricket has played such an enormous part in my life and I’m so proud to be back here inspiring the next generation of cricketers.”
Root was visiting Dore Primary School to launch Yorkshire Tea National Cricket Week with Chance to Shine.
Chance to Shine is a national charity on a mission to spread the power of cricket throughout schools and communities.
It takes cricket to new places and uses it to ignite new passions, teach vital skills, unite diverse groups and educate young people throughout England and Wales.
Indeed, since 2005 the Chance to Shine Schools programme has helped reverse the decline in the sport in state schools across the country.
Working in close partnership with all 39 county cricket boards and hundreds of local clubs, the initiative has seen three million boys and girls in more than 11,000 schools playing and learning through cricket.
This year it runs Monday to Friday June 19-23. Sign up now at www.chancetoshine.org/ncw_signups.