There is a saying in sport: If you’re good enough, you’re old enough.
Portsmouth Community will this weekend prove age is no barrier in a completely different manner.
Community’s first-team boss Les Randall has called up Bill Hindley – at the ripe old age of 84.
Hindley – father of Havant skipper Richard – will join the side for the short trip to Denmead II in Hampshire League regional division three.
It will be his maiden first-team appearance this season.
However, he was the side’s leading wicket taker last term and has already grabbed 14 scalps in the second team this summer.
And Randall has had no qualms about drafting in the veteran.
‘He’s not there to make the numbers up and contributes fully,’ said the manager.
‘We have promoted him because we know he can do a job.
‘It is remarkable that he still plays and – not only that – he also turns out for the Zombies, a Sunday side he runs.
‘He may not be the most agile in the field but bowls little loopies and takes wickets.
‘It is great for the youngsters in our team because Bill has a fantastic knowledge and huge amount of experience.’
Portsmouth Community are hoping to celebrate their 10th anniversary in style by gaining promotion.
With the Hampshire League reorganising at the lower levels next season, it means the top six in regional division three south could be promoted.
The community side, based at Drayton Park, are currently fourth and on course to reach their target.
Apart from Hindley, though, they are a side with a youthful outling.
Six under-16s regularly play in the senior side.
‘We are basically a community club providing opportunities for youngsters to play and develop their cricketing skills,’ said Randall.
‘We have between 80 and 90 playing members, with sides at under-nine, under-11, under-13 and under-15 level – as well as two weekend sides and a midweek team.
‘A number of our senior side have come through the youth system and we are looking for the next crop now.’
Youngster Dan Maru, son of ex-Hampshire star Raj Maru, is also drafted in after sharing an extraordinary ninth-wicket partnership in the second team last week.
Chasing a target of 85 against Purbrook, Portsmouth Community were in deep trouble at 30 for eight.
But Maru and Frank Leslie – who had only ever scored one run in his previous innings – fought back with a record ninth-wicket partnership.
The duo shared a brilliant stand of 59 to win the game for Community.
Portsmouth Community: Gavin Randall, Jake Hastie, Martin Cleave, Kevin Todd, George Parvin, Ollie Parvin, Patesh Bhatt, Paul Godfray, Bill Hindley, Robert Higgins Dan Maru