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Somerset to play Twenty20 cricket match against Bideford at Westward Ho!

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: January 31, 2013

By Andrew Jones

  • SPECIAL OCCASION: Bideford's Alec Hodges celebrates dismissing Somerset's Ian Blackwell the last time the clubs met in Marcus Trescothick's benefit year in 2008.

  • BENEFIT YEAR: Somerset opening batsman Arul Suppiah.

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SOMERSET are to play a Twenty20 cricket match against Bideford at Westward Ho!

The fixture on Monday, July 15, will be part of the programme of events for Somerset opening batsman Arul Suppiah's benefit year.

Money raised from the match will be split between Suppiah's testimonial fund and Children's Hospice South West.

In August 2008, Marcus Trescothick took a Somerset team to play Bideford as part of his own benefit year.

About 700 spectators saw a 13-run win for the Somerset XI, who included Trescothick, Ian Blackwell and Suppiah.

The organisers of Suppiah's benefit were so impressed by that occasion they invited Bideford to apply to stage a match this year.

Kevin Fishleigh, the club chairman, said: "I am delighted Arul and his benefit committee have invited Bideford to host the match.

"This is a great accolade for the club in bringing Somerset back to our Westward Ho! ground."

Companies and individuals interested in sponsoring the match can call Jim Lowe, Bideford's sponsorship secretary, on 01237 451193.

Suppiah, 29, was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, but was educated at Millfield School in Street, Somerset.

He made his first-class and one-day debuts for the county in 2002 and should this summer reach 100 first-class appearances.

Suppiah has cemented a place as Trescothick's opening partner in recent seasons but perhaps his greatest achievement was with the ball.

In July 2011, the left-arm spinner set a Twenty20 world record, which still stands, by taking six wickets for just five runs in a win over Glamorgan at Cardiff.

Suppiah will be in North Devon on Friday, March 1, when he and Bobby Gould, Wimbledon's 1988 FA Cup-winning manager, will appear at a dinner at the Park Hotel, Barnstaple.

Tickets for the dinner are priced £25 and are available from Eddie Dymond on 01271 374302 and David Butt on 07818 037726.

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