The Foundation has been delighted to trial a brand-new programme offering weekly cricket sessions and hot meals to Afghan refugees currently housed in a nearby hotel. It has been a significant achievement to put together this project so quickly, and the Foundation has been fortunate to receive generous donations and to be backed all the way by MCC, their Community coaches, catering department, Indoor Cricket Centre staff and volunteers.
Every week, 50-60 participants come to the Home of Cricket, where they are offered kit and training sessions at the Indoor Cricket Centre, with nets divided separately for men, women and children. Afghan coaches with interpreting skills are on hand to support and female coaches are available to work with the girls and women, whilst smaller children are entertained with fun activities. Everyone is offered English lessons and freshly-prepared Afghan cuisine. The project has been an eye-opening experience for the staff and volunteers who have been fortunate enough to work closely week-on-week with the refugees, who have arrived from Afghanistan feeling uprooted after being forced to flee their country and everything they know.
It is deeply rewarding to see happy faces, to hear laughter and to witness some very skilful cricket. MCCF aims to ensure that our current beneficiaries are able to continue playing cricket in our 74 nationwide Hubs once they have been allocated more permanent residences across the country.
Mike Atherton (The Times)
Scyld Berry (The Telegraph)
Nick Friend (The Cricketer)