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MCC launch 2024 Community Cricket Heroes campaign

Posted: 7 June 2024

MCC has today launched its Community Cricket Heroes campaign for 2024 to find 11 unsung cricketing heroes from across the country.

The campaign, which is now in its second year and run in partnership with The Cricketer magazine, saw 11 heroes of grassroots cricket welcomed to Lord’s last June for a day of the England v Ireland Men’s Test match, watching on from the prestigious President’s Suite.

Last year’s winners included Lachlan Smith, the founder of Birmingham Unicorns, one of the world’s only LGBTQ+ cricket clubs; Taj Butt, a groundsman from Bradford who has driven girls cricket participation and used cricket to support the education of young people in his local community and Sheena Recaldin, who helped save her local village cricket club in Kent following the Covid pandemic.

Another one of last year’s winners, James Worstead, from Sussex, who helped develop a cricket club for refugees in Northern France, said of his experience: “It was my first ever trip to Lord’s, a place I never thought I would visit. To have come for the first time in those circumstances made it all the more surreal and it was an absolute privilege.”

Four of the 2023 Community Cricket Heroes in the President’s Suite.

This year, another XI MCC Community Cricket Heroes will be chosen from the nominations by a special panel consisting of Arfan Akram, Mike Gatting, Dr Sarah Fane, and one of last year’s winners, Lachlan Smith. The panel will be chaired by former England international and MCC Chair of Cricket, Claire Taylor.

The panel will be looking for entrants who work hard to make a demonstrable positive difference to their community through grassroots and community cricket, from volunteers who go above and beyond for their cricket club and community, to coaches who are inspiring people on and off the pitch or players that have overcome adversity to play or help the game. 

The winners will be invited to Lord’s as special guests of the MCC President to watch a day’s play from the President’s Suite at either the England v Sri Lanka men’s Test Match which starts on Thursday 29 August, or the England v Australia men’s One-Day International on Friday 27 September.

This year’s campaign is being supported by several famous names from the world of cricket who feature in this year’s launch video to encourage people to nominate a hero from their cricket community.  

Nominations will close at midday on Tuesday 16 July with the selected MCC Community Cricket Heroes announced shortly after.

MCC President Mark Nicholas said: “Grassroots and community cricket is the lifeblood of our game and supporting and celebrating it is a vital part of MCC’s role. As MCC President and someone who is passionate about cricket at this level and what it means to so many, I’m excited to be part of this year’s campaign. 

“I’m looking forward to hearing the stories of people across the country who are doing so much for the sport and their local cricket communities and of course welcoming this year’s winners to Lord’s later this summer.”

"I’m sure we will find a fantastic XI to be proud of this year."

Chair of MCC Cricket Committee Claire Taylor said: “The response we had to last year’s inaugural campaign was phenomenal and showed how strong our grassroots game is.

"It also highlighted the importance of recognising and rewarding those people who often go under the radar for the brilliant work they do out of their love for the game and often in difficult or challenging circumstances.”

Editor of The Cricketer, Huw Turbervill added: “It’s been a delight to be involved in this campaign, and its forerunner. We’ve had some wonderful winners, from heroes taking cricket to far-flung places, to those using the game to give people hope and a second chance. I’m sure we will find a fantastic XI to be proud of this year.”

To nominate your MCC Community Cricket Hero visit below.

Nominate Now

The closing date for nominations is midnight on Tuesday 16 July.