Lord’s was draped in London Spirit blue on Sunday 24 July, as the team hosted an open day for 250 children ahead of the 2022 edition of The Hundred that starts in August.
Children from local community groups, schools and clubs took part in the day which gave them an opportunity to meet stars from both the Men and Women’s team, with Ravi Bopara, Chris Wood, Naomi Dattani and Amara Carr in attendance.
The players fielded questions from the children, aged between 5 and 16, which included advice for youngsters wishing to make it as a cricketer.
Children were then split into groups that each took part in a range of activities.
The day offered a rare chance for youngsters to play mini cricket games on the Lord’s outfield, as well as a tour of the Ground, where the children were given the opportunity to see the Long Room and the Players Dressing Rooms.
The Coronation Garden was transformed into an activity area featuring The Hundred activation games that will be available on match days, as well as speed guns and face painting.
Finally, the Thomas Lord Suite played host to a competition space where children were able to win prizes including caps, balls and tickets by taking part in a number of interactive games.
The day aimed to build on the momentum created by The Hundred last year to inspire a new generation of cricket fans.
"There will probably be one or two kids out there today that will be so inspired"
Ravi Bopara said: “What’s happening today is brilliant. 20 years ago, you’d have been lucky to set eyes on the outfield here so for kids to be able to come out and play here is inspirational.
“There will probably be one or two kids out there today that will be so inspired by today, that they may go on to achieve high honours in the sport.”
Naomi Dattani said: “It’s important that we have the kids here today. Seeing them smile as they’re playing cricket on the outfield of such a special ground is great.
“They’ll be creating memories for life and hopefully that will encourage them to continue taking the sport further and keep growing the game.”
Ricky Reynolds, MCC’s Head of Community and Inclusion said: “It was great to see so many young people enjoy the day, and we were very glad to welcome them to the Home of Cricket.
“We want to encourage the next generation to enjoy cricket, and hope that days like today can not only inspire children to come and watch cricket, but also pick up a bat or ball and fall in love with playing the sport.”