Superstars can make normal things looks extraordinary. Take Joe Root, the new England skipper, for example, who turned a normal weekend game into a highly cherishing piece of memory for a club cricketer in Yorkshire by gifting his Test match batting gloves for scoring a match-winning hundred.

Root turned up with his wife and his little one for a surprise visit to watch his father Mathew play for Sheffield Collegiate Third XI against Handsworth Junior Sporting Club at the Abbeydale Sports Club. The casual visit, however, ended in a very special manner.

Handsworth’s wicket keeper batsmen Ashley Naseby batted excellently and registered 124 from 187 deliveries against Root Sr. and side. In response, the Sheffield Collegiate Third XI were out for just 119 with Root’s father scoring just 9 runs.

“I will probably keep them somewhere safe and sound,” said Ashley, 24.

Like most of the cricketers, Ashley isn’t willing to change his playing gear; using which he had already scored a century before this game.

“I’ve got a nice matching pair of GM gloves at the moment so I won’t change them.”

Talking about Joe’s father, the 24-year-old says that Senior Root is an image of Joe Root as he probably picked all of Joe’s playing stuff to show up for the match.

“His father is the dead spit of him,” said Ashley of Root snr, who also keeps wicket. “Joe Root in wicket-keeping gloves.

Ashley also revealed a bit of fun while keeping when Mathew was batting. Seems like he dropped hints what he expected as a Man of the Match gift.

“When Matthew was batting later I was joking to him saying that ‘the man of the match should get some of Joe’s batting gear’.”

Handsworth skipper Dean Williamson had also seen the merits of this plan.

“Matthew had definitely raided Joe’s garage,” said Dean. “He had all the kit, all the sponsored this and that and the bats.”

“We saw Joe had come to watch. He was with his missus and his young ’un so we didn’t want to bother him too much, but he was really nice.”

Ashley and Dean both walked out to open the innings but the skipper failed to stay in the middle for long and lost his wicket for 12, leg-before.

“Plumb, sadly,” Dean sighed.

Ashley, however, went on and one and racked up a patient 124 to propel his team to a match-winning score and win the up the man of the match honours and also a pair of the England captain’s ‘New Balance’ batting gloves.

The lad will remember this forever. Root has perfectly set an example of how small act of friendliness can go a long way and impact the lives of ‘common’ men.


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