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Dublin: 12°C Tuesday 24 November 2020
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We faced six balls from an Ireland fast-bowler and (nearly) survived

First ball is free, right?

WHEN PIERS MORGAN memorably, and foolishly, accepted the challenge of facing Brett Lee, one of the fastest bowlers in the world, it was never going to end well.

He took several blows the body, failed to get his bat on ball in any of the six deliveries, was clean bowled on his fifth and came out nursing an extremely bruised hip and fractured finger.

Brett Lee and Peter Chase Peter Chase with Brett Lee during the World Cup in February. Source: Barry Chambers/INPHO

So when your colleagues suggest undertaking a similar challenge, all in the name of entertainment, it’s only natural to have reservations.

You see when the tables are turned and journalists come up against professional athletes, there really is only going to be one winner – even more so when a five-and-a-half ounce ball is being fired down at you from 22 yards.

But it’s Christmas and the season of good will so we paid a visit to North County, the training facility of Cricket Ireland, hoping they would put forward one of the slower bowlers because they’re sound like that.

Step forward Peter Chase. Standing at well over six foot and having been clocked in the early 80 milers per hour on the speed gun, he is one of Ireland’s tallest and quickest fast-bowlers.

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Of course it was inevitable for myself, standing at five foot something, to have to face a bowler towering over me. Sure it added to the comedic value, they said. As did the fact I had to wear his pads, which were slightly too big.

Granted, I have a played a bit of cricket before but this was another kettle of fish.

The challenge? Face an over, six deliveries, from Chase in the indoor nets. The aim? To protect my wicket, survive and ensure the company’s insurance wasn’t required.

What could possibly go wrong?

Source: The42.ie Video/YouTube

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About the author:

Ryan Bailey

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