Saxlingham Cricket Club’s Antony Pearson set to sample new life in Australia

Saxlingham Cricket Club have said goodbye to star batsman Antony Pearson, who is preparing to sample a new life Down Under.

The first team captain gave the team the perfect leaving gift with what proved to be a a match-winning unbeaten 74 as his side saw off Hales and Loddon by 42 runs in a Norfolk Alliance Division Two basement battle.

Antony, 31, has played every season for the club since he was a boy – joining his father Richard on some of the early Gents veterans' team tours as a seriously under-age player.

But next season there is a distinct chance that his stylish stroke-play won't be gracing the green.

Australia beckons after his doctor wife landed a job in the A and E department of Gosford Hospital near Sydney.

The inital six months placement could lead to an extended stay depending on how things work out.

'I am not planning on coming back here next year.

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'My wife Tessa has got a job for six months and we will see how we go when we get there.

'I might be around next season but I really don't know.'

If and when he does return to Norfolk, Saxlingham Nethergate will always have first call on his services.

Antony has regularly topped the club batting charts, and this season had notched up 480 runs in 13 innings at an average of 53.33 before his departure.

He pledged: 'If I come back to play cricket again this way I will always play for Saxlingham. I would not want to play anywhere else.

'I love it, I really enjoy it. We play a decent standard of cricket, good enough.

'I play cricket with my friends, that's why I play really. The atmosphere at the club is fantastic – it's always been good.'

Although one cricketing chapter has ended for now, another one might be about to open.

'I have been to Australia a few times. I went out for the Ashes in 2007. It was interesting but brilliant. I might look for a club when I get out there,' he said.