GLOUCESTERSHIRE cricket club Rockhampton hosted an international match with a life-saving difference last weekend.

The England and Wales Transplant Cricket Team is a team of cricketers who have received life-saving organ, tissue and stem cell transplants. They played a team from the NHS.

Transplant team captain Adam Phillips from Berkshire, who had kidney transplants in 1996 and 2012, said: "We are all celebrating our second innings in life. This match is a reminder of the generosity of our donors-be they family, friends or complete strangers who offer us a new chance by helping to give us the greatest gift-the gift of life."

Transplant team manager Jo Windridge commented: This will be the team’s first fixture  since the Covid pandemic.

“It means a great deal to us to play this fixture-it’s a fantastic way for us to show the amazing team of organ donation specialists and how they work to enable transplant recipients to lead a healthy and active life post-transplant”.

Match organiser George Brann-Liff, a specialist organ donation nurse in Hampshire, said after the game: "The NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) and the England Transplant Team have show cased the true benefits of organ donation and transplantation.

"At the 3rd time of asking we finally got the game played after cancellations due to covid and the passing of HRH Queen Elizabeth 2nd.

"NHSBT, with its robust infrastructure and expertise, ensures efficient coordination between donors, recipients, and medical professionals, ensuring that life-saving organs reach those in need. As well as supporting bereaved families in their time of need. Ensuring that their needs and wishes are met.

"The England Transplant Team, composed of people of all ages - have triumphed over adversity, demonstrating the transformative power of organ transplantation. Allowing to live a second innings - in which many thought wouldn’t happen.

"We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Rockhampton Cricket Club for hosting this remarkable event, enabling both participants and spectators to witness the beauty of human resilience and the importance of organ donation. Their contribution to raising awareness and fostering community support deserves immense appreciation."