England’s dedicated day for Alzheimer’s Society ‘a wonderful opportunity’

Alice Davidson-Richards hopes Alzheimer’s Society’s new partnership with the England and Wales Cricket Board can be a game-changer for dementia.

Day three of the final Ashes Test at the Oval on July 29 will be dedicated to Alzheimer’s Society to raise vital funds and awareness.

And England’s Davidson-Richards, whose father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia two-and-a-half years ago, believes it will make a big difference.

The Kent, South East Stars and Northern Superchargers all-rounder told the PA news agency: “It’s going to be amazing for Alzheimer’s.

“The cricket we’ve had so far this summer in the men’s and women’s Ashes series has been incredible, which makes an event like this for Alzheimer’s Society a really key point.

“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to put themselves out there, get the awareness out there and really show what they’ve got to give and how much they can help people, give them vital hope at a time when it’s very tough for families affected.”

One in three people born in the UK today will develop dementia and Alzheimer’s Society said there are over 900,000 individuals living with dementia in the country – enough to fill the Oval 33 times over.

The charity believes “great cricket should be unforgettable” and said its dedicated day during the final men’s Test will help fund faster diagnosis, life-changing support and vital research.

Davidson-Richards said her unforgettable moment this summer was in the Women’s Ashes Test at Trent Bridge last month, which Australia won by 89 runs.

England’s Lauren Filer dismissed Ellyse Perry on 99 in Australia’s first innings and Davidson-Richards said: “I was involved in the Test squad and got to watch the girls put up a hell of a fight there.

“Watching Lauren Filer’s unbelievable spell of bowling stands out. I was watching with a friend who took her phone out to video and I said ‘imagine if you get Lauren getting Ellyse Perry out on 99’ and right on cue she did it!

Davidson-Richards, right, celebrates with Natalie Sciver-Brunt after reaching a century on her England debut last summer
Davidson-Richards, right, celebrates with Natalie Sciver-Brunt after reaching a century on her England debut last summer (David Davies/PA)

“That was obviously one of those moments. It’s been an incredible summer for the girls and great to see how much fight they have shown.”

Davidson-Richards said she owes her career in the sport to her cricket-mad father.

“He’s from Yorkshire and I lived next to a cricket ground so I didn’t really stand a chance,” she said.

“I also had three older brothers, who aren’t as good at cricket, so as soon as I came along and he realised I had good hand-eye co-ordination, he thought ‘this is the one’!

“I’m still lucky to get to see snippets of him, but you can also see it starting to take over.

“There isn’t the rationality or the memories and things like that. His short-term memory is pretty shot to pieces.”

Davidson-Richards made a stunning Test debut for England in 2022 when making 107 in a draw against South Africa at Taunton.

She added: “From a personal point of view that’s a really cool, unforgettable moment for me. Especially since my dad doesn’t have any idea what I’ve done this summer, but he remembers I got a hundred on my England debut at Taunton.

“The fact that he doesn’t remember a lot of other things that go on, it’s a special thing for him to remember that and it only adds weight to the memory for me.”