Turning back time for historic clash

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Penrith Mayor John Thain with players and organisers of the historic match

The thriving community of Thornton will host an historic cricket match next month with locals having the unique chance to be involved.

To commemorate the 125th anniversary of the match between Lord Sheffield’s touring English cricket team and the local Nepean Districts side, a special Thornton cricket team will be established for a one-off game against the Penrith Cricket Club.

The highly anticipated T20 match, which will be contested on Smith’s Paddock in Thornton on February 17, is expected to attract a huge crowd of local cricket lovers.

Smith’s Paddock was created by local T.R. Smith especially for the match against the touring English side 125 years ago.

Mr Smith’s father Thomas and mother Jane built the original historical Victorian villa, better known as Thornton Hall, which overlooks the new estate.

Organisers have been working hard over the last few weeks putting a team of keen amateur cricketers together for the match.

“The ‘Thorntonites’ team will feature local residents, Morton Real Estate workers and even Penrith Mayor John Thain will conduct the coin toss as well as bowl the first ball,” Thornton Community Facilitator, Cinzia Guaraldi said.

“The Penrith Cricket Club have also been a huge help in organising a team of youngsters for the ‘Thorntonites’ to play.”

One of the many highlights of the evening will include the opportunity for players and locals to be photographed with an original bat used in the famous 1892 game.

The local community is also encouraged to bring along a picnic dinner with chairs and blankets, to make a real night of it.

“People are really making an effort to make this day a great celebration. We’re very grateful to local Thornton resident and organiser Rachael Wilson for coming up with the idea,” Ms Guaraldi said.

Penrith Mayor John Thain said the game acknowledges the history of Thornton in a modern urban environment.

“It was played on a cricket field especially created for the occasion,” Cr Thain said.

“125 years ago this game was a big draw card for Penrith with Lord Sheffield’s presence widely known in the sport of cricket.

“Recreating this game brings a great sense of community just like in 1892.”

The match between the Thorntonites and the Penrith Cricket Club will be held at Smith’s Paddock in Thornton on Friday, February 17 from 5pm.

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