Blast from Thetford's past

A Norfolk cricket club took a trip back to the playing days of curved bats and under-arm bowling at the weekend to celebrate the life of a famous author.

A Norfolk cricket club took a trip back to the playing days of curved bats and under-arm bowling at the weekend to celebrate the life of a famous author.

Members of Thetford Town Cricket Club dressed up in 18th-century style clothing on Sunday as part of the festival to commemorate the town's most renowned son.

Players of all ages tested their skills with curved bats and 1744 rules that included only two stumps and four-ball overs for the latest Tom Paine bicentenary event.

The special 18th century game comes after the radical author of the Rights of Man allegedly signed his name into the guest book of the famous Hambledon cricket club in Hampshire in 1795.


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However, it is believed that the signature was a forgery because Paine was supposed to be in France at the time.

The game on Sunday was followed by a 20/20 match between The Georgian Gentlemen and a Thetford Town select XI.

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Phil Fordham, from the Thetford Town Cricket Club, said it had been a “brilliant” day, which helped raise �300 for Thetford Youth Cricket.

The match was the latest in a series of Tom Paine 200 events in Thetford, which will include a schedule of lectures starting in September and a community play later in the year.

For more information, visit www.tompaine200.org.uk

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