First XI scorer Lorne Hart had the honour of inking Jimmy Anderson’s 500th Test wicket into the record books on Friday after being invited to score for England during this week’s Third Investec Test against the West Indies at Lord’s.
Lorne, who first started scoring cricket matches for his home-town club Whitstable in 1995, has been in the role since 2012 and can now add one England ‘cap’ to his personal honours’ list.
“It came as a shock when the ECB asked me to score the Lord’s Test,” admitted Lorne. “I wondered at first whether I should defer it for a year and travel with Kent for their championship match up to Durham, because Chester-le-Street is the only one of the 18 county headquarters where I’ve never scored before.
“But having the chance to score an England Test at ‘The Home of Cricket’ isn’t the sort of thing you can turn down easily, because you never know whether the offer will ever come around again. So, I soon said, ‘yes please’.”
Lorne took over keeping the Kent scorebook from Jack Foley – who held the post for an astonishing 25 seasons and who also scored for England throughout the 1999 World Cup.
Lorne said: “I was surprised, but there were no butterflies ahead of the Test at all really, in fact, it actually felt easier than scoring a Kent game because you don’t have to rush out to the middle for the toss, or worry about filling out the team sheet or having to calculate the team’s over rates.
“So, as soon as the umpires called play, away we went in the scorebox and it soon felt like any other game.
“There’s a great sense of pride though because, in terms of scoring, this is just about the biggest honour you can be given. In sport, no matter what the achievement is, you want it to be at the highest level of the game, so this was something I’d always aimed and hoped for.”
As for the moment when Anderson became the first England bowler to join the ‘500-wicket club’, Lorne added: “It’s what I was really hoping for and every time Jimmy reached his bowling mark at the start of his run-up I made sure I was ready and paying full attention. To be there for that, to score that moment, was just amazing.”