Thursday, 25 August 2011



Gemma Merna pads up to captain the Lazy Bar Walkers (LBW) for this year’s Friends Life t20 Finals Day

Hollyoaks star Gemma Merna is set to bowl over Twenty20 cricket fans after being announced as the new captain of the LBW – Lazy Bar Walkers.

The new LBW initiative by the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) was launched by The Only Way is Essex star Sam Faiers at the start of the competition, but with Essex Eagles failing to progress to the finals, Lancashire girl Gemma stepped up to the plate. The Channel 4 actress will give a whole new meaning to the term ‘Leg Before Wicket’ as the sporty siren exchanges her handbag for a cricket bat.

Gemma’s latest starring role sees her captain The LBW team during Friends Life t20 Finals Day. Along with Gemma, the Lazy Bar Walkers will be helping cricket fans enjoy the finals even more on Saturday 27th August by being match-goers’ personal helper.

Friends Life t20 Finals Day takes place at Edgbaston and sees Lancashire Lightning take on Leicestershire Foxes in the first semi final followed by Somerset against Hampshire Royals. The winning sides will meet in the final scheduled to start at 18.45.

Following feedback from fans, the ECB launched the LBW service so that groups of match-goers wouldn’t miss any of the excitement of Friends Life t20 cricket which is a fast and adrenaline fuelled variety of the sport. Since its launch in June, the LBW service has proved hugely popular with fans, with thousands of booking requests received via the initiative’s website.

On the LBW initiative, Gemma said; “Being a Manchester girl, I’ve obviously got a real soft spot for Lancashire Lightning, but I won’t let my bias get in the way of making sure fans of all sides have a great day. Having been to a few t20 matches I understand the frustration of being stuck at the bar whilst all the action is happening at the crease.

“The LBW will take this pain away. We’re here so that cricket fans can enjoy the Friends Life t20 Finals Day even more than ever before and I like to think we can also provide a bit of friendly banter!”

The Friends Life t20 is the first cricket competition where the LBW service has been implemented in the UK and was selected due to the tournament’s lively nature which proves a great day out for groups of friends to watch matches together. Fans can expect a real carnival atmosphere at Edgbaston as the competition comes to an end and organisers are encouraging as many as possible to take advantage of the service so as not to miss out on some great moments.

A spokesperson for the ECB also commented: “The Friends Life t20 is an all out action competition. The speed of the game is so fast that if you blink, you will miss it.

“We are expecting a dramatic conclusion to this year’s t20 competition at Edgbaston on Saturday, so it is all the more important that the decisive moments are not missed queuing for food and drink. The LBW service has proved a massive hit at county grounds this summer, so we’re delighted to roll the team out for Finals Day and to have Gemma as our team captain.”

“Edgbaston is a fantastic cricket ground, with a vibrant atmosphere and has played host to some truly memorable moments in recent years. We’re hoping for more of the same on Saturday so urge cricket fans from all across the country to come down for what will be a great day out.”

The team of Lazy Bar Walkers are available to be booked for free from the LBW’s bespoke website To reserve an LBW for Friends Life t20 Finals Day, cricket fans can choose their own LBW, girl or boy, who will accompany them to the match.

For more information about the Lazy Bar Walkers Service, the ECB or Friends Life t20 please contact:

Greg Double on 020 7693 6999 or email


Notes to editor:

• A t20 game involves two teams, each has a single innings batting for a maximum of 20 overs.
• A t20 game is completed in about three and half hours, with each innings lasting around 75 minutes.
• It was introduced to create a lively form of the game which would be attractive to spectators at the ground and viewers on television.
• The Friends Life t20 season runs from 1st June through to Finals Day in 2011 at Edgbaston on August 27.

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