FORMER England batsman and coach David Lloyd will turn out for Accrington Cricket Club on Sunday - and admits he is mad to do it!
At the grand old age of 61, Lloyd is returning to his hometown club for this Sunday’s game at Burnley (start 1.15pm) and next Saturday’s home clash with Haslingden as he looks to help the Lancashire League club out.
And it is hoped a bumper crowd will watch ‘Bumble’s’ return to where he started his career before going on to captain Lancashire and play nine Tests and eight One-Day Internationals for England.
He then coached England and had a spell umpiring before his straight-talking helped him become the Sky voice of cricket, following England around the world.
However, Lloyd - who also played semi-professional football for Accrington Stanley - has kept in touch with the Thorneyholme Road side, helping them financially last season when their existence was threatened.
And now he has returned for two games only - although this week he was beginning to regret his decision.
"I am cricket sore after nets on Tuesday," said Accrington Stanley fan Lloyd, who has been involved with cricket since he was 15.
"And I am under no illusions that the opposition will want to have a pop at me and they will be tough games. I am suddenly not sure if it is a good idea.
"I haven’t played cricket for 19 years although I have kept myself fit. I was, though, pretty pleased with how it went at nets and I wanted the captain David Ormerod to pick me on merit - and he said he has.
"I will be honest, I thought the Accrington CC players would be shocking but they have some really good young players and a fantastic captain with a really good camaraderie. And that ball is hard!
"All the Sky people say I am barking mad and stupid - and I am beginning to wonder if I am!
"And Mike Atherton has said he would rather tidy his sock drawer than watch me play and has sent me a text message calling me a complete idiot and worse!
"But I am deadly serious.
"I just want to do my bit to help the club. They have got their finances in order since last season and have got a business plan that is working and they are sticking to a budget.
"If I can help any way I can then I will and I hope this will.
"And I do not want to let myself down. I want to get some runs but I am not bothered how many - as long as we win. And I don’t get my head knocked off!"
Lloyd, who will play alongside his son Graham at Accrington, has just been in the baking heat of Sri Lanka for two months commentating on England - and Accrington have a Sri Lankan pro in Roy Silva.
"He hasn’t taken his hat off yet! It’s boiling over there and he won’t know what has hit him with this weather!" he added.