Leicestershire CCC is delighted to accept a fantastic £40,000 grant from the David Wilson Foundation, which will go into the Leicestershire Young Cricketers Education Trust (LYCET) and continue to support the exciting talent at Grace Road.
Club President David Wilson, who was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours, has been extremely generous since the trust was set up in 2008 and the funding allows our gifted young cricketers to fast-track their development by being provided with new experiences abroad.
The key aims of the David Wilson Foundation are to build confidence and skills and instil new dreams and belief in young people, and to help them to overcome any barriers in the way of fulfilling their potential. David’s continued support means that this has become a reality to many at Grace Road.
The fund has been massively important in the careers of many current Leicestershire CCC cricketers and it is a huge help to a Club who actively give opportunities to their rising stars.
Shiv Thakor recently gained an international call-up and he joins Josh Cobb, James Taylor, Greg Smith and Nathan Buck in being given an England under 19 call-up since the trust was formed. All of these players started with Leicestershire at under 11 level and their development through to first-class level has been helped by LYCET.
Gaining experience in new conditions is critical to a young player’s development, as Nathan Buck, who went to the Dennis Lillee Academy in Chennai with the help of LYCET, explains.
He said: "As a young professional, it was fantastic to be able to go to a country like India and work with Dennis Lillee with the support of LYCET. It helped my career a great deal and I am extremely thankful for the kind help and support of our Club President David Wilson.
"If it wasn't for that help, then myself and the other youngsters at the Club may not have been able to enjoy such brilliant experiences. Those experiences help to shape you both as a cricketer and a person and we are all thankful for their continued support."
Leicestershire CCC Captain Matthew Hoggard received the cheque presented by David Wilson CBE on behalf of the Club, and praised the work of the David Wilson Foundation and LYCET.
“It is vital that young players get the opportunity to go abroad,” said Hoggard. “It is a great experience; not only for their cricket development, but also to allow them to learn to stand on their own two feet.
“I spent time in South Africa in Johannesburg as an 18-year-old and I learnt a lot about myself. The funding received from LYCET is vital and we are really thankful for it.”
Leicestershire opening batsman Matthew Boyce, who was one of the first recipients of LYCET funding which allowed him to visit the Darren Lehmann Academy in Adelaide, was also present as the cheque was donated.
He said: "Going to Australia was a brilliant experience for me. The facilities and coaching was high-class and the experience was extremely important to me, especially as I went to university before starting my professional career.
"It is great that young players will continue to gain those life-changing experiences. It helps for players to learn about new environments as they look to develop their games and I will never forget my time at the Darren Lehmann Academy in Adelaide.
"I also got to play club cricket at Tea Tree Gully CC, where Josh Cobb, Joel Pope and Liam Kinch have also played. Gaining those links will continue to help the young players at Leicestershire CCC and we are really thankful for help with funding."
Leicestershire Chief Executive Mike Siddall also praised David Wilson’s contribution to Leicestershire CCC.
He said: “The development of Leicestershire and Rutland cricket is very important to David Wilson CBE and the David Wilson Foundation has been extremely generous in his support for LYCET.
“It has been able to help many of the county’s young cricketers with coaching and the cost of equipment, when personal budgets are stretched.”
Club President David Wilson is delighted to continue to support young people throughout Leicestershire and Rutland.
He said: “The Foundation has been primarily created to help young people achieve their potential in life. We are supporting all education and sport and particularly those wishing to enter the construction industry.
“It is vital that we continue to help young people gain confidence and success in their lives through sport - in this case cricket at Leicestershire CCC. It is the Foundation’s main aim and we are delighted to continue our support.”
Leicestershire CCC would like to place on record a huge thank-you for the continued support of David and LYCET. Everybody at Grace Road is extremely grateful for the help and look forward to continue the relationship in the future.