Top-class cricket is set to return to Cricketfield Road next summer when county stalwart Chris Nash brings a Sussex All-Star XI to play a Horsham Past and Present XI.
The T20 match will form a part of the former Horsham player and Tanbridge House School pupil’s testimonial year.
It’s great news for north Sussex cricket fans as this year is only the second time in 34 years that Sussex have not played a match at Horsham.
The Festival of Cricket did not take place this year because of financial reasons, linked with a lack of a headline sponsor and limited support from local businesses through hospitality.
However Sussex batsman Nash is hopeful that by bringing his testimonial game to the town he can prompt a future return for the regular and popular festival.
He said: “Playing a really big game will be good for the people of Horsham, being able to see Sussex legends in action.
“It will really boost the club and might allow a return of the Horsham Cricket Festival the following year.
“If we can show the demand and the business support, we can maybe get it back. We do get the crowds but Horsham’s capacity limits the numbers who can attend to 2,000 to 3000.”
Local business has come forward to host the event in the form of aviation and travel firm Skytrail, who are Horsham Cricket Club’s shirt sponsor.
Headed by director Neil Conley, they will be bringing along many of their partners to enjoy hospitality at the event.
Nash said: “It’s lovely they want to get the local business involved.”
Nash is also excited to see his former school, Tanbridge House taking part in a coaching session on the morning of the match, who will then stay on throughout the afternoon to watch the big game with their parents.
He said: “It will be great if I can help the place where I first played cricket, along with Horsham Cricket Club, we could be helping to inspire some players of the future!”
The date of the big game is still to be confirmed but Nash and his organising committee are targeting a day before the schools break up in late June or July.
He is also planning a big 50-over game at the Sussex County Cricket Ground in Hove between Sussex first team and South Africa on May 19, preceded by a special dinner the night before.
The fund raising events will be launched on March 10 at the Grand Hotel in Brighton.
This will include entertainment by a top Brighton comedian, a hypnotist and a question and answer session with some high-profile players.
Two charities which are close to his heart are set to benefit from all the fundraising - children’s charity Rockinghorse and the recently formed Sussex Cricket Foundation.
To find out more about Nash’s benefit year, check out www.chrisnash2017.co.uk
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