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150th anniversary cricket now!

Cricket fans need to act fast to catch the remaining tickets for the 150th anniversary dinner celebrating the ‘First All England Cricket Team’ to tour Australia – on Brunel’s ss Great Britain.

The event on October 20 is being organised by Gloucestershire County Cricket Club and will include two cricketing legends David Frith and Angus Fraser MBE as guest speakers.

David Frith is a cricket historian, author and former editor of Wisden Cricket Monthly, who will give an insight into the tour of 1861 and 1862; and Angus Fraser MBE is a former England bowler and regular contributor to the BBC’s Test Match Special, who will reflect on more recent cricketing events.

The event takes place 150 years to the day that the ss Great Britain left Liverpool for Melbourne, carrying the ‘First All England Team’ to tour Australia. A major phenomenon, the cricketers’ success sparked the Australian passion for the game.

Event organiser David Mclauchlan, from Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, said: “This will be a unique evening celebrating the 150th anniversary of the First All England Cricket Team, where guests will be able to explore the ship, enjoy a delicious dinner and first-class entertainment.”

He added: “There are only a few tickets remaining for this historic event, and
proceeds will go towards Gloucestershire County Cricket Club’s Academy, encouraging the young cricketers of the future.”

Organisers have worked closely with the Brunel’s ss Great Britain events team to provide guests with imaginatively-themed food and wine. The celebratory dinner includes ‘damper’ soda bread – traditionally prepared by swagmen and drovers in the ashes of camp fires – with a terrine of kangaroo, grilled lamb chump, and baked blueberry and vanilla cheesecake with raspberries and white chocolate.

Guest speaker David Frith wrote about the tour in his book ‘The Trailblazers’, including a chapter on the cricketers’ two-month voyage on the ss Great Britain, describing the ship as “the proudest thing afloat”. According to Frith, the 1861/2 tour was “the birth of England-Australia cricket competition” and “its significance can scarcely be exaggerated”.

Cricket-themed activities are also planned for 2012 at Brunel’s ss Great Britain to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the tour in Australia.

Tickets (priced £90 each, including a welcome drink, and wine) may be bought from