Marylebone Cricket Club Foundation (MCCF) hosted the boys’ and girls’ finals of its annual National Hub Competition at Lord’s Cricket Ground on Saturday 30 July.
The event marked the conclusion of a 20-week long competition that has seen boys and girls aged 15 and under from 74 sites across the country competing against one another for a chance to play at the Home of Cricket.
The event did not disappoint, with two exciting finals comprising of the charity’s most talented beneficiaries taking place on the Main Ground. In the Boys Final, Newcastle beat Nottingham convincingly by nine wickets, with some eye-catching batting and fielding on display including a fantastic run out in the third over of the match. Newcastle Captain, Charlie Cook, scored 36 not out, sealing victory with four runs. Newcastle’s Conn Sullivan was named Player of the Match.
In the Girls’ event, Bolton came out on top against Guildford Hub after a nail-biting final over, with Bolton’s Neve Bolton hitting a spectacular six to seal victory. Neharika Shenai scored an impressive 43 for Guildford. Bolton Captain, Megan Russell, scored 37 and was named Player of the Match.
Both finals took place in succession on the Main Ground in front of a packed-out Pavilion and Tavern Stand. Hundreds tuned in to watch the livestream on MCCF’s YouTube channel, with expert commentary team, Guy Swindells and Cath Dalton being joined by players, Hub Managers, and other guests from the world of cricket throughout the day.
Following the success of last year's inaugural event, MCC once again pulled out all the stops, providing all four teams with an unforgettable experience, including access to the Pavilion Dressing Rooms and lunch served in the Players’ Dining Room.
The National Hubs form the cornerstone of the MCC Foundation’s work in the UK, ensuring that every young cricketer can be empowered to reach their full potential in the game, regardless of race, gender, or socio-economic circumstance.
The Hubs also look to nurture young talent, creating opportunities for promising young cricketers to hone their skills and improve their confidence under the mentorship of the MCC Foundation’s network of coaches.
Former England Men’s Captains and MCCF Patrons, Mike Brearley and Mike Gatting and current Brazil Women’s Captain, Roberta Avery, presented medals to all participants.
"I know that it will inspire them to reach for the stars with their cricket"
Speaking about the event, Director of MCC Foundation, Dr Sarah Fane OBE, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Guy Lavender and MCC for providing this unique opportunity for our beneficiaries. I know that it will inspire them to reach for the stars with their cricket and it will be a day that will likely stay in their memories forever. Cricket has so much to offer, and we are determined to ensure that any young person whatever their background or gender, can access and thrive in the game.”
Brazil Women’s Captain, Roberta Avery, said: “I’ve never had the opportunity to play at Lord’s – I imagine it’s amazing for these girls knowing they’ve been in the programme and are now playing at the Home of Cricket! I truly believe that cricket has the power to change lives. It can make anyone who plays it a better athlete, and when you’re a better athlete you’re a better person, and when you’re a better person you’re better for the world.”
The competition has been made possible by the Foundation’s long-standing supporters, Charles Stanley Wealth Managers.