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Gloucestershire head coach Mark Alleyne is a big fan of the Cheltenham Cricket Festival

All Areas > Sport > Cricket

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Saturday, 22nd June 2024, 09:00

Gloucestershire head coach Mark Alleyne. Picture, Gloucestershire CCC Gloucestershire head coach Mark Alleyne. Picture, Gloucestershire CCC

“It’s such a special place to play cricket.”

Those are the words of Gloucestershire head coach Mark Alleyne as he looked ahead to this year’s Cheltenham Cricket Festival.

Cheltenham College has been a home from home over the years for the 56-year-old, a hugely successful captain and all-rounder back in the day.

Not for nothing was he known as the ‘King of Cheltenham’, with one county championship match against Durham in July 1997 being a particular highlight when he took nine wickets and scored 169 in an innings victory.

This year’s Festival is almost upon us. It gets under way on Sunday 30th June when Gloucestershire take on Glamorgan in a four-day County Championship Division Two game.

Alleyne’s men also have three Vitality Blast T20 fixtures at Cheltenham and Alleyne is in no doubt about why the Festival continues to be so popular.

“The games always seem to have jeopardy,” he said. “They swing backwards and forwards, batsmen make runs, the bowlers take wickets, there’s always something happening.

“The sun always seems to shine, it just makes for good cricket.”

Gloucestershire are currently fourth in the eight-strong County Championship Division Two and have made an encouraging start to their T20 campaign.

Western Storm, meanwhile, will showcase all that is good about women’s cricket when they play Northern Diamonds on Sunday 7th July and  Blaze on Wednesday 10th July in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.

The Festival concludes with a four-day Under-19 Test between England and India, starting on Tuesday 16th July.

Cheltenham Cricket Festival dates - Sunday 30th June-Wednesday 3rd July: County Championship Division Two, Gloucestershire v Glamorgan (11am). Friday 5th July: T20 Blast, Gloucestershire v Kent Spitfires (2.30pm). Sunday 7th July; Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, Western Storm v Northern Diamonds. Wednesday 10th July; Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, Western Storm v The Blaze. Thursday 11th July: T20 Blast, Gloucestershire v Middlesex (5pm). Sunday 14th July: T20 Blast, Gloucestershire v Glamorgan (2.30pm). Tuesday 16th July-Friday 19th July: Under-19 Test, England v India.

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