JOHN PYE AUCTIONS have been helping to warm up the start of the Investec Ashes Series First Test at Trent Bridge.

As a curtain opener to one of the most celebrated and historic rivalries in World sport with 600m worldwide viewers, John Pye & Sons were chosen as appointed Auctioneers by Trent Bridge to kick off the series with an Ashes dinner and auction at the Test Match ground.

Approx. 200 of the biggest names in cricket and business attended the Ashes Dinner on Monday night two days before the start of the opening First Test at Trent Bridge to enjoy tales of cricketing folklore from the Voice of Cricket; BBC Radio 5 Live’s Test Match commentator Jonathon Agnew, compare for the evening, along with former England cricketer and Sky pundit David ’Bumble’ Lloyd and Australia legendary fast bowler, Glen McGrath. Sky Sports were also in attendance to witness and record the event, interviewing guests before they took to their tables.

Steeped in Ashes History

The evening could not have been any more perfect with Nottingham’s Trent Bridge Test Match ground a serene sight bathed in the early evening summer sun and steeped in Ashes history, having now held over 20 Ashes Tests with the first as far back as 1899 and the field where Don Bradman holds the record for highest Ashes runs with 519 runs for Australia over four Tests between 1930 and 1948, an average of 75.14. Shane Warne has also taken 29 Ashes wickets at Trent Bridge in four tests between 1993 and 2005.

One of England’s greatest recent memories was turning the tide towards regaining The Ashes in 2005 with a stunning Test in which Australian captain Ricky Ponting was run out when Gary Pratt shattered the stumps with a direct hit before Ponting could get back beyond the crease.

Special Auction of One Off Memorabilia

All this history providing a stunning backdrop to the dinner event held in the Derek Randall suite, which culminated in a very special auction of one off memorabilia and experience items provided by Trent Bridge, the only Test Match ground outside of London to have secured The Ashes for both 2013 and 2015 Series’.

With the old wooden and slate scoreboard replaced this year at Trent Bridge by a giant TV screen which now ranks as Europe’s largest outdoor sports screen, guests were not only treated to a stunning Ashes video but also the old slate slats used by Trent Bridge for Ashes Tests over the last 40 years with ‘England’, ‘Australia’, ‘Broad’ and ‘Hussey’ slats up for auction, presided over by John Pye Auctioneer Bob Beaumont, a huge cricket fan himself, ably and amusingly assisted by Bumble.

The scoreboard slats for England & Australia have presided over every Trent Bridge hosted Australian international competition since 1973. Fierce bidding took place for these pieces of cricketing history and Australian opener Ed Cowan placed a bid that signaled his intent to return the Australia slat to his homeland.

Top of the bill was a Platinum Experience Lot; the right to ring the bell to open Day 1 of the First Test of The Ashes 2013 Series at Trent Bridge in front of 600m worldwide viewers. The symbolic sound is long established as the call for the crowd to take their seats and the players to enter the field of play. That Lot achieved £2,300.

The Trent Bridge Community Trust

All Lots were generously donated by Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, with funds raised from the auction go to the Trent Bridge Community Trust which promotes community participation in healthy recreational activities. One such activity was the design and creation of the Trent Bridge Ashes Mural.

In an effort to boost funds, the auction ran as an online public silent auction, in the lead up to the Invetec Ashes Dinner. Bids accrued online acted as commission bids to the live auction taking place at the prestigious Dinner, sponsored by John Pye & Sons.

Substantial sum raised ‘with great hilarity’

John Pye Auctioneer Bob Beaumont said:

“It was a fabulous evening, it couldn’t have gone any better. What a great night, on a classic balmy English summer evening in the company of  one of the world’s greatest bowlers, Glen McGrath, and the game’s most entertaining commentator, David ‘Bumble’ Loyd.

“I like to think Beaumont & Bumble were the cricket auction world’s answer to Morecambe & Wise. With great hilarity we managed to raise a substantial sum for the Trent Bridge Trust and Positive Futures programme.”