Bumble proves himself the master of Murali: Richard Gibson

David Lloyd proved he has still got it, even at the age of 63, by smacking Muttiah Muralitharan for consecutive sixes in a charity cricket match earlier this week – one of which broke a windscreen.

Twice he launched the Sri Lankan spinner, who took 800 Test wickets, over the ropes at long-on and did the damage to a Mercedes van during an England Legends win over Cheshire League club Grappenhall.

Asked how he managed to master Murali, Bumble was a paragon of modesty. “I’m bloody good, that’s why!” he said. “Murali told me ‘there are only two players in the history of the game to hit me there, and a bloke called Brian Lara is the other one.’”

Bumble, Michael Vaughan and Andrew Flintoff all turned out to raise money for Grappenhall, their former Lancashire colleague Neil Fairbrother’s club.

Lloyd and Vaughan shared 86 in seven overs for the England Legends, with the former’s contribution 37 off 25 balls. He later took three wickets with his slow left-arm.

“When Geoff Miller popped into the commentary box for the Twenty20 match between England and India the other night, I thought one of the openers had been injured and they needed me to fill in,” Bumble added. “In fact, I also considered that Vaughan and I would be a useful combination because whereas neither Alex Hales nor Craig Kieswetter bowl, we both do.”

Bumble’s cameo will be featured in an interval break on Sky Sports during the NatWest Series.

On a more serious note, Lancashire are looking into the manhandling of the former Lancashire captain and coach by Old Trafford security staff. He was ejected from the pavilion while Sky colleagues Michael Atherton and Paul Allott, two other club stalwarts, were both denied access.

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It might be a little pedantic to question the overlooking of England players when the International Cricket Council’s Test team of the year was so Anglo-centric already but the omission of Matt Prior as wicketkeeper was harsh.

Prior had a brilliant twelve months both sides of the stumps, averaging 57 with the bat, hitting three hundreds and claiming 49 dismissals.

Although Kumar Sangakkara, the man picked ahead of him, is of undoubted class as both a batsman and gloveman, his own return was an inferior 412 runs at 45.77 with two hundreds and zero dismissals. Yes, strangely, the selection panel chose the 33-year-old despite him not keeping in any of the six Tests in the qualification period (August 11, 2010 to August 3, 2011.)

Not only that. They also named him as captain despite the fact he has been such a reluctant leader of Sri Lanka, and handed the reins to Tillakaratne Dilshan earlier this year.

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Twenty20 champions Leicestershire and perennial runners-up Somerset head to the Champions League in just over a fortnight with concerns over late payments of fees for participation lingering.

The England and Wales Cricket Board are believed to be seeking assurances on prompt payment, and would prefer it up front to prevent a repeat of previous years when it has been months in arrears.

Australian players have already been advised participation payments will be met by October 31 while prize money will be distributed before March 1, 2012, after the Australian Cricketers’ Association threatened a boycott of future tournaments.

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Double Ashes winner Graeme Swann is not the only member of his family to have routed the Australians this year.

Swann’s father Ray, a Minor Counties player with Bedfordshire in his day, struck 99 on his debut for England Over-60 against their Aussie counterparts at New Rover Cricket Club, Leeds, on August 19.

He was only denied a hundred in the 135-run win when he was dismissed off the final ball of England’s innings of 284 for four.

“I hit it straight back past the bowler, and would you believe it? Mid-on dived and caught it!” Swann senior, who registered his 100th competitive club hundred in 2010, said.

Follow me on Twitter @richardgibson74

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