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banner Thursday, 19 July, 2001, 15:13 GMT 16:13 UK
Patel of a day for cricket

BBC Sport Online's Chris Charles reports on the extraordinary cricket match, where all 22 players were called Patel.

Click here for the full scorecard

Umpire Roy Higgins knew he was in for a long day when he strolled onto the cricket field to find all 22 players shared the same surname.

Poor old Roy was left scratching his head when each man introduced himself as Mr Patel.

Forget Lillee, caught Willey, bowled Dilley in the gulley.

How about Patel, caught Patel, bowled Patel?

Fortunately one of the scorers, Amit Patel, was on first name terms with each player and helped to resolve the situation.

Dennis Lillee
And you thought my dismissal was a tongue-twister
Amit, 15, confessed: "I was shocked. Some players even had the same first four initials so everyone's names had to be written in full."

The astonishing Sunday League match took place between Yorkshire LPS and Amarmilan in Bradford.

LPS club secretary Ishy Patel said all the players knew each other well and often socialised together.

He told BBC Sport Online: "A lot of the players are related and there were even two brothers playing against each other - Magun for us and Surindra for them.

"Twice before we've played and there were 21 Patels lining up against each other, but on this occasion our regular wicketkeeper, who is not called Patel, had to go to London for work."


No prizes for guessing the name of his replacement.

Ishy continued: "We didn't realise we all had the same name until the match was under way, but even then we didn't think it was anything special.

"We certainly didn't think it would become such a big story.

"We all go out drinking together, although there is a big rivalry between the two sides - it's a local derby.

"If they've got a game and we haven't, we'll go along and cheer them or boo them - depending on how the result will affect us!"

Ishy's opposite number, Chandu Patel, who also bowls for Amarmilan, admitted: "It must be very confusing for people."

Umpire Roy agreed, although he added: "We did have a good laugh, though.

"At one point there was a bit of banter and I said 'can Patel please be quiet' and they all shut up!"

As far as I am aware, it's the first time two teams have played with the players all having the last surname
  League Secretary Don Butterfield
Don Butterfield, secretary of the Bradford Mutual Sunday School League, said: "I've known 11 players on the same side with the same name before, but all 22 is amazing.

"It was difficult for the scorers and umpires, but the all the players are a good set of lads and enjoyed it.

"As far as I am aware, it's the first time two teams have played with the players all having the last surname, although the players didn't think it was anything out of the ordinary."

Of course, there is a danger of the most important thing being forgotten amidst all this history - the score.

It was a close-fought affair which eventually ended in a 31-run victory for, you guessed it, the Patels.

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