England cricket stars surprise community cricket club to announce #Funds4Runs
A host of current and former England cricket stars surprised Leicester Electricity Sports Cricket Club during an inter-squad friendly game organised by LV= Insurance.
Ahead of the LV= Insurance Test Series against New Zealand, James Anderson, Mark Wood and Nat Sciver, as well as legends Steve Harmison and Isa Guha arrived as coach, scorer, umpires and even served the tea.
LV= also announced a donation from the #Funds4Runs community initiative for Leicester Electricity CC to rebuild their Women’s team.
Unsuspecting club members were stunned as Anderson arrived to give the team-talk and offer coaching tips while Sciver acted as scorer for the day all before Harmison and Guha emerged onto the pitch to act as umpires for the game. Wood then served the drinks, sandwiches and cakes as players came in for tea.
“We all really enjoyed coming down to Leicester and surprising the club members,” said Anderson. “It was a lot of fun and I thought Woody in particular has found a new vocation for when he hangs up the pads.
“Grassroots cricket clubs across the country are truly the heart of the cricket community in this country and it’s always nice to return and remind ourselves of our own days spending weeknights down at our local clubs.
“I think this is what the initiative LV= have put together today is all about and topping it off with financial support to regrow their Women’s team as part of their #Funds4Runs investment in grassroots coaching is a really nice touch.”
After the game LV= announced funding to train a new coach to relaunch their Women’s side, which dissipated following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funding will come from #Funds4Runs – a £1million initiative co-funded by LV= and the ECB to help the grassroots cricket community recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In its second full year, the fund will focus on opening coaching avenues for those involved in the game. It will aim to support 4,000 coaches and have an impact on at least 20,000 players from all levels of the game each year, with Leicester Electricity CC’s new Women’s coach being one of these. Courses will vary from foundation phases to more specialist and advanced programmes.
Heather Smith, Managing Director at LV= General Insurance, said: “We are delighted to announce the next stage of our #Funds4Runs community initiative. It is our mission to help all corners of the grassroots community gain access to the game of cricket and supporting coaching is a fantastic way of maintaining that commitment, starting with Leicester Electricity Cricket Club. Adding the human touch of the players surprising the Leicester club members during their inter-squad friendly was truly heart-warming and a lovely initiative.
“LV= has a great passion for cricket, dating back 20 years with our time as title partner of the County Championship, and we’re proud to be able to continue that legacy today.”
Heather Powell, Women’s Section Volunteer at Leicester Electricity Sports Cricket Club, said: “Our cricket club was delighted to take part in this event as a prelude to the upcoming LV= Insurance Test Series. It was great to see the professional players undertaking volunteering activities, which are so crucial to the running of an amateur inner-city club.
“Our women and girls’ team suffered badly during the COVID-19 pandemic and we have struggled to find the support to restart it since. Helping us train a coach for the team will be the first step in maintaining our offering to women and girls, so thank you again to LV= for coming down and supporting us with this.”
In January 2021, LV= Insurance signed a three-year sponsorship deal with The England and Wales Cricket Board.
The deal sees LV= GI become Official Title Partner of Men’s and Women’s Test Cricket in England & Wales, and the Men’s County Championship, until the end of 2023, including the 2023 Men’s Ashes Series.
England Men’s summer fixture list begins with a three-match Test series against New Zealand, before they play their postponed Test against India and round-off with a three-match series against South Africa. England Women play their one-off Test match against South Africa on 27-30 June.
Follow @lv_cricket on social media or visit LV.com/gi/cricket to keep up to date with all the latest information on the partnership and for the chance to win tickets to England matches this summer.