Playing for Chirk Cricket Club Seconds means the world to Andrew Edwards.

And here’s his story on how much he’s looking forward for tomorrow’s return to action.

“With my interest in local cricket blooming, I decided that I would give playing a try after writing a book on the History of Brymbo’s Football and Cricket clubs,” he said.

“It had to be for a team that usually didn’t have a full allotment of players. I wanted to feature most weeks and not be left out after a short spell of this occurring when I tried junior cricket aged 15.

“After perusing they scorecards of the North Wales Cricket League during the 2017 season, especially those near Wrexham, I had a choice of three teams. I contacted Ian Skinner, Chirk Cricket Club Seconds Captain and we met up in February 2018.

“I could clearly see that we had a shared ethos regarding how to go about playing and behaving in recreational cricket. I had also researched Chirk and found that they had had experience of autism at the club. So, that was my decision made. It has turned out to be one of the three best decisions that I have made in the last five years.

“I made my debut on a very warm Bank Holiday Monday of May in 2018 at home to Ruthin Seconds.

“We batted first rattling up a score well in excess of 200 and after an inauspicious start in the field where I dropped a catch, I made amends by taking what others have deemed memorable. I will never forget the batter’s name was Venkatravaghan Sundaram.

“Upon taking the catch, I ran around like a mad person a la Imran Tahir. Everyone seemed chuffed for me.

“In my second match, I took the wicket of Richie Samuels of Marchwiel and Wrexham Seconds. I had never got anyone out in my entire life, even my nephew Louis Beckley when he was six in the front garden!

“After four appearances in the 2018 season, we held our annual presentation in February 2019. Clearly, my catch wasn’t forgotten as I won a trophy for “Champagne Moment” of the season named in honour of a club stalwart named Dave Kelshaw.

“I couldn’t believe how much everyone at the club had recognised me for being me, autism or not. I am still so proud of this trophy.

“In 2019, I made 10 appearances for Chirk Seconds, as the club moved into the Shropshire League, taking five wickets at an average of 20. I even opened the bowling unexpectedly in our last match at Lilleshall Thirds when we secured promotion in our first season in the League.

“I still haven’t scored a run but have batted just twice in my 14 appearances so that’s my aim for the season.

“I really appreciate the support of all my team-mates and everyone associated with Chirk Cricket Club, especially my captain Ian Skinner. He has completely gone out of his way to make me welcome and a well respected part of the club.

“What has helped, outside of my strength and conditioning training at home 10km runs and walks with my sister Melanie, is being in contact with my team-mates.

“I joined the club group chat and we have a Zoom quiz every Saturday evening.

“Fortunately though, after clearance from the Welsh Government in the last round of lockdown easing, our season in the Shropshire Cricket League starts this Saturday at home against Pontesbury Seconds.

“Although there will be adjustments to be like no group wicket taking celebrations, I am really looking forward to it.”