SOUTHEND & EMT cricketer Scott Elliott took inspiration from England great Michael Atherton during a marathon fundraising effort at Southchurch Park.

Atherton scored a memorable 185 not out against South Africa in an innings which lasted 643 minutes back in 1995.

And Elliott opted to do likewise to help raise funds for the club during a testing summer in which they have yet to play due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our club secretary Chris (Hunt) had the idea and asked me if I fancied a go at it,” explained Elliott, who has so far raised £2,300.

“I wasn’t really paying attention to what he said and it was only the next day I thought actually that’s a long time to bat!

“We set the challenge up like two Test match days so started at 11am on the Saturday and went through to 6pm with breaks for lunch and tea like they have then did the same on the Sunday with it ending at 4.43pm for the 643 minutes.”

Elliott endured two full days of deliveries with many of them being bowled by those who had also sponsored him.

“We had around 40 members of the club who donated towards the event and came to bowl in hour long slots with up to four others at the same time,” said Elliott, who has been at the club since 2005.

"The bowling was open to the community as well and the opportunity was taken up by a number of people who don't play regularly or were interested in giving the gme a go for the first time.

“It was a long time out there but it was very enjoyable too.

“Some of the bowling was very good and quick which helps concentrate the mind. The last 43 minutes was very full on with people trying to knock my head off!.”

But that nearly almost happened at the start of Sunday’s innings too.

“On the Sunday there were a couple of guys playing when we were setting up and they said could they bowl,” said Elliott.

“But the first ball they bowled was perfectly directed at my throat and made for a great video which is now on social media!”

However, Elliott escaped unscathed and is pleased to have raised a considerable amount for the club.

“The plan was to make some money for the club as given the current situation we have no income through match fees or bar takings,” said Elliott.

“We thought we would do something like this rather than just ask people to donate money.

“At the moment we are at £2,300 raised and hopefully Sport England will match this amount.”

To sponsor Elliott visit