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    David Lawrence, England’s Pioneering Cricketer, Diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease
David Lawrence, England’s Pioneering Cricketer, Diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease
David Lawrence. Source: thepca.co.uk

David Lawrence, England’s Pioneering Cricketer, Diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease

David Lawrence, the trailblazing first British-born black cricketer to represent England, has recently been diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND). Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, where Lawrence currently serves as president, disclosed the news following a series of medical tests conducted earlier this month. Lawrence, who earned his first Test cap in 1988 and appeared in five Tests and one ODI for England, is determined to complete his term as club president despite this diagnosis.

Nicknamed “Syd,” Lawrence was a stalwart for Gloucestershire, participating in 298 matches and taking 670 wickets during his career from 1981 to 1997. His connection to the club is deep-rooted, having been born and raised in Gloucestershire, where he made significant contributions on and off the field. Upon his appointment as club president in April 2022, Lawrence expressed his commitment to serving the club that has been such a significant part of his life.

Will Brown, Gloucestershire’s chief executive, expressed profound sadness on the club's website regarding Lawrence's diagnosis. He described Lawrence as an icon and a legend within the club, not just for his groundbreaking achievements but also for his character and contributions. Brown highlighted Lawrence's kindness, thoughtfulness, and the inspiration he has provided to everyone at Gloucestershire. Brown also noted the transformative impact Lawrence had during his presidency, opening new opportunities and fostering strong relationships within the club.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) extended their heartfelt support to Lawrence. In a statement on X (formerly Twitter), the ECB acknowledged his significant contributions to cricket, both on and off the field. They conveyed their deep sympathy to Lawrence and his family, praising his embodiment of the sport’s finest values.

Lawrence’s cricket career, although cut short at 28 due to a severe knee injury, left a lasting legacy. He took 18 Test wickets and delivered an impressive performance in his sole ODI appearance against the West Indies, claiming four wickets for 67 runs.

The Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) also pledged its ongoing support to Lawrence. Ian Thomas, the PCA's managing director of member services, pointed out Lawrence's inspirational role throughout his cricketing and post-cricket life. Thomas assured that both the PCA and the Professional Cricketers’ Trust, the players’ charity, would provide the best possible support to Lawrence and his family during this challenging time.

The cricket community stands united in offering its love and support to David Lawrence, recognising his enduring legacy and the strength he continues to show in the face of this new challenge.

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