Disabled cricket team nets first sponsor – thanks to chance haircut

Howzat for sealing a deal in style?! Award-winning concrete block manufacturer Besblock has signed a shirt sponsorship deal with Shropshire Disabled Cricket Team after a chance meeting in a barber shop.

Besblock MD Andrew Huxley was sitting in the chair next to Shaun Rigby, one of the team’s stars, when they started talking about cricket. Half an hour later they were shaking hands on Shropshire Disabled Cricket Team’s first ever match shirt sponsorship deal.

“This is a major stepping stone for our disability squad,” said Shaun. “Besblock will be our first ever match shirt sponsor and the whole squad is very grateful for the generosity and support from the company and Andrew in particular.

“It all came out of the blue. I was sitting in the chair with my Shropshire cricket jumper on when Andrew walked in and we struck up a conversation,” he explained.

“I’d explained about playing for Shropshire Disabled Cricket and he asked if we had sponsorship as Besblock already sponsor Shropshire’s county team. When I said no he was willing to commit then and there. It was a fantastic moment.”

Shropshire Disability Cricket runs two teams, a Super 9s side and a D40 side and caters for players of a wide range of age, ability and disabilities, including learning disabilities, artificial limbs, spinal bifida, limbs that are not fully formed, a stoma, cystic fibrosis and bone cancer survivors.

The Super 9s team play with a slightly softer ‘windball’, is 30 overs a side and players have to retire for batting if they reach 50 with the bat or stop bowling if they take three wickets. The D40 side play a traditional game of cricket under standard rules with a normal cricket ball, the only slight difference being that batsmen have to retire upon reaching 100 or stop bowling if they take five wickets.

Besblock has a long association with cricket in the county and also sponsors Shropshire County Cricket Club – the Besblock logo emblazoned across the front of Shropshire’s jerseys during the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons.

Managing director Andrew Huxley spoke of his delight at signing this new deal which cements the association between his firm and all forms of cricket at the highest level in Shropshire.

“Besblock has had a strong association with cricket in Shropshire and we’re absolutely thrilled to be shirt sponsors not only of the county side but also Shropshire Disabled Cricket,” said Andrew, himself a former amateur player with Wroxeter.

“It may have been a chance encounter with Shaun but we’re delighted we can assist the team and help them to go onto bigger and better things.”

Shaun added: “Our aim is to provide players with an environment to develop their skills whilst providing them with enjoyment, in addition to pursuing our ultimate goal of becoming national champions for the first time.

“The Super 9s team were beaten in last year’s semi-final, whereas the D40 team were narrowly beaten in the national final by 11 runs in a game played at the iconic Arundel Castle ground in Sussex – the third defeat in a national final in four years. The aim remains to go one better and make history in 2019.”

Any players interested in joining can contact captain Shaun Rigby ([email protected]) or chairman Kev Baker ([email protected]) for more details.