A Celebration of Cricket for All at Arundel
The MCC Foundation celebrated the return of recreational cricket last week, hosting a triangular tournament between their Brighton, Eastbourne, and Waverley Cricket Hubs.
The competition was held at the beautiful Arundel Castle Cricket ground as part of a series of events organised by the Arundel Castle Cricket Foundation to celebrate the re-launch of cricket.
It was a closely fought competition, with some exceptional performances from the talented Hub players throughout the day. The Waverley Hub eventually secured victory in dramatic fashion, beating the Eastbourne Hub by one run on the final delivery of the match.
In line with government guidelines, the MCCF cricket Hubs suspended delivery in March, and last week’s tournament was an important first step towards the return of delivery.
The tournament was part of a 12-day series of events hosted by the Arundel Castle Cricket Foundation in collaboration with a number of cricket charities under the banner: “A Celebration of Cricket for All at Arundel”. The programme of events aims “to make the summer of 2020 memorable for the right reasons, by using cricket to bring families, friends, and communities back together again.”
COVID-19 has deprived young cricketers across the UK of training and match-play opportunities this summer, and the loss of so much cricket means the MCCF Hubs will be an even more vital resource for state-educated cricketers this winter.
All players will suffer the effects of the reduced recreational season, but state-educated players – particularly those from BAME or lower socio-economic backgrounds – will be disproportionately affected, as they are less likely to have access to indoor facilities over winter, and have therefore missed out on the bulk of their training and playing opportunities for this year.
The MCCF Hubs will be working hard to address these issues. The programme is committed to opening up access to cricket and its talent pathways, to ensure that all young cricketers have the opportunity to reach their full potential in the game regardless of race, gender, or economic circumstance.
To achieve this, the Hubs provide state-educated cricketers with free-to-access coaching and strength and conditioning training for ten weeks over the winter months, and match-play opportunities over the summer. This year, over 60 Hubs will run across the UK, supporting more than 2,500 promising young players.
"Young cricketers are more in need of our support than ever"
MCCF Director, Dr Sarah Fane, said: “We are so grateful to the Arundel Castle Cricket Foundation for the opportunity to run this tournament for three of our fantastic Hubs. Given the anxieties and uncertainties we are all currently struggling with, opportunities like this are so important and give hope to us all.
"Young cricketers are more in need of our support than ever, and this was a positive first step for us towards resuming delivery safely.”
The MCCF Hubs are made possible by the generosity of cricket enthusiasts around the world: £25 provides an hour of coaching, £100 allows a young player to complete a season with an MCCF Hub, and £3,500 can fund an entire Hub for one year.
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