Test Match Sofa
Cricketer's role in British Olympic rowing medal
By Paul Bolton, County News Correspondent
Warwickshire batsman Laurie Evans is claiming a part in Great Britain’s bronze medal in the men’s eights rowing at the London Olympics.
Evans’s uncle Greg Searle completed a fairytale comeback after a period out of rowing by winning his third Olympic medal at Eton Dorney, 20 years after he won gold in the coxed pairs in Barcelona.
Searle, 40, returned to rowing eight years after retiring from the sport and switching to sailing as a Great Britain America's Cup member. But Evans believes that he and his brother Oliver, a former professional tennis player, played their part in talking Searle back onto the water.
“Me and my brother like to think we talked him into rowing again. He had retired from rowing and went into America's Cup sailing so he had eight years out of it,” Evans said.
“Then it was announced that the Games would be in London. We said we would really love him to do it, and he used to laugh and joke about it. Then all of a sudden he was back rowing again and it was great.”
Evans managed to watch Searle and his Great Britain team mates qualify for the Olympic final through the repechage at Eton Dorney but he was on second team duty with Warwickshire against Derbyshire at Dunstall on the day of the final.
But Evans managed to watch the final on television before the start of play and caught up with Searle this week when his uncle visited Edgbaston to watch Warwickshire’s CB40 defeat by Kent.
“During the Olympics it was a busy time for Greg but I grabbed a moment with him whenever I could,” Evans said. “It will still be like that for a couple of weeks I would imagine. He is being dragged here there and everywhere for media interviews.
“But it was great to see him at Edgbaston because his story is 20 years long and it’s an amazing one. He’s come to watch me play a few times and his son loves cricket. Now the Olymoics is over he’s looking forward to come and watch whenever he can.”
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