The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced a further £177,500 from The England and Wales Cricket Trust for The Lord’s Taverners following unprecedented demand for junior cricket equipment bags.
The National Sports Foundation has matched the donation to guarantee a total grant of £355,000.
The Lord’s Taverners had given their entire annual allocation in the three months from January to March following record applications.
The Taverners would usually expect to process around 60 applications per month but have already provided 1,142 cricket equipment bags to children from 6-18 years, including a rise in girls hard ball cricket kits (15-18years).
Richard Caborn MP, Minister for Sport said, “This is great news for young cricketers. Cricket is riding on the back of that famous Ashes success and it is a sign of how far cricket has come that they are the recipients of the first ever National Sports Foundation grant”.
ECB Chief Executive, David Collier, said: “There is no doubt that we are experiencing the lasting effects of an Ashes legacy. If there is one thing England cricket achieved last summer it is engaging youngsters and ensuring they want to play the game. That’s the greatest prize of all”.
The effect is replicated across the country with over-subscribed Easter coaching courses providing clear evidence that cricket is enjoying a resurgence amongst children.
Old Trafford, Edgbaston and Lord’s all report a dramatic rise in demand for junior coaching which is not limited to group sessions. Demand for one-to-one and specialist coaching is also high as talented young cricketers seek to gain an upper hand.
At Old Trafford, Easter camps were full by the first week of October with waiting lists for the 100 places and specialist coaching sessions in bowling, batting and keeping were over subscribed a week after the 2006 season finished. The Lancashire CCC ‘Saturday Club’ had 40 children last season and now has 80.
At Lord’s, a similar story is told by Reg Horne who has run the MCC Indoor School for eleven years. Reg Horne said: “We had 485 children aged 8-18 years attending our Easter Coaching Schools, with another 100 on a waiting list - last year there were 272.
The whole winter has been massively busy and there is definitely a general feel-good factor around cricket. We’ve been full seven days a week all winter with children and adult net sessions”.
There has been a 48% increase in participation across all forms of cricket since the England men’s and women’s teams won the Ashes.
For further information, please contact the ECB Press Office on 0207 432 1200 or Andrea Wiggins, ECB Media Relations Officer, 07774 476400