Going for a song
I love cricket, I play the guitar and I love Eric Clapton, so you can imagine my excitement at receiving an invitation to the 'Bunbury Bashes', a black-tie gala dinner organised by the Bunbury Cricket Club, where Rory Bremner would be MC, comedian Peter Kay would do a turn and Eric himself would perform live.
The Bunbury Cricket Club is a pro-celebrity club, founded and run by the inimitable David English MBE, which has raised over £12m for different charities over the years.
It has also helped to produce a few England cricketers through the English Schools Cricket Association's annual under-15s Bunbury Festival - nine members of the 2005 Ashes-winning team took part in it.
Alongside the ESCA, other causes supported by the 'Bashes' include the Leukaemia Research Fund, the Crossroads Centre in Antigua (an alcohol and drug facility founded by Eric Clapton) and an orphanage in India called Joybells.
This was my first experience of a Bunbury do and I walked into the glitzy Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane day-dreaming about meeting Clapton and being invited to jam - I'd been practising Signe and Tears in Heaven all afternoon.
The dream was interrupted by the England women's team manager diving out of the hotel with a mobile phone in her hand. "I've gotta find the World Cup," she exclaimed.
She'd put the trophy in the boot of the taxi which brought her to the hotel but forgot about it when she got out and the taxi driver had driven off with it. Happily it was recovered and captain Charlotte Edwards could carry it on stage with her for the Loyal Toast (a toast to the Queen, that is, not to the World Cup).
As it was an Ashes Tribute night, a raft of legends assembled on stage for a Q&A after dinner. It was marvellous to see Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson alongside Rod Marsh, while the opposite corner was filled by Sir Ian Botham, David Gower, Allan Lamb, Andrew Flintoff and for 'Aussie bashing' value, Rugby World Cup winner Jason Leonard, who is an avid supporter of the Bunburys.
The major fundraising part of the evening was the charity auction, flush with such 'money can't buy' offerings as three days of fly fishing with Allan Lamb, becoming a character in a Jeffrey Archer novel, a day editing the Daily Mirror, country pursuits with the Bothams or joining Piers Morgan to help judge Britain's Got Talent.
Lord Jeffrey Archer was the auctioneer, encouraging 1,200 guests to part with the sort of sums that make you gulp.
I seriously considered bidding my entire savings on an Eric Clapton Fender Stratocaster personally signed by the great man (you could watch him sign it in front of you) but the bidding stretched just marginally beyond my budget. The whisper was that £21,000 was a snip compared to the £45,000 his guitar fetched last year.
The most amusing part of the auction was when Lot nine was called - "private dining with Beefy" Mike Gatting piped up and said he'd pay good money NOT to have dinner with Beefy and was immediately fined £500 for being rude to our country's greatest all rounder.
It didn't take long before Lamby also pledged £500 to avoid eating with Sir Ian, Flintoff followed, then Lillee and Thommo and before you knew it over £10,000 had been raised.
It was a fabulous evening for so many great causes. I felt privileged to be there, not least to play a small part in helping to support the Bunburys but to be reminded of the camaraderie and enduring friendships that cricket produces, both between those in different walks of life but also between the most fearsome competitors.
The sight of Lamb, Lillee and Thomson standing on chairs, arms around each other's shoulders, watching Clapton perform, was one of the great photo opps of the evening.
There are Bunbury matches taking place all over the country through the summer. If you turn up to support one, you never know who you might meet.
And no, my day-dream didn't come true!