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MCC Foundation host National Hubs Finals at Lord’s

MCC Foundation host National Hubs Finals at Lord’s
MCC Foundation host National Hubs Finals at Lord’s
©Matt Bright
MCC Foundation host National Hubs Finals at Lord’s
MCC Foundation host National Hubs Finals at Lord’s
©Matt Bright

Marylebone Cricket Club Foundation (MCCF) hosted the grand final of its inaugural National Hub competition at Lord’s Cricket Ground today.

The event marked the conclusion of a 20-week long competition that has seen boys and girls aged 15 and under from 64 sites across the country competing against one another for a chance to play on the hallowed turf at the Home of Cricket.

The event did not disappoint, with two exciting finals played out on the Main Ground comprising the charity’s most talented beneficiaries. In the Boys’ Final, the Manchester hub chased down Slough’s total of 102, winning the game on the final ball of the innings. 15-year-old Louis Russell was awarded player of the match, claiming bowling figures of 3-12.

In the Girls’ event, the impressive Bradford came out on top against Cotswold, clocking up an imperious score of 136-3, before bowling their opponents out for 24. Player of the match, Rhia Sedha top scored, retiring on 51 not out, while Sarah Wood reached 50 not out. With the ball, Bradford’s Hannah Bower shone picking up bowling figures of 3-4 from her two overs.

The National Hubs form the cornerstone of the MCC Foundation’s work, ensuring that every young cricketer is empowered to reach their full potential in the game, regardless of race, gender, or socio-economic circumstance.

The Hubs also look to nurture the best young talent, creating pathways so that participants with the highest potential can hone their skills and confidence under the mentorship of the MCC Foundation’s network of coaches and Young Ambassadors, Ajmal Shahzad, Cordelia Griffith and Mumtaz Habib.

MCC President Designate Clare Connor and former international cricketers Mike Gatting, Rohan Gavaskar and Isa Guha presented medals to all participants as a special memento of their achievements and experience of playing at Lord’s. MCCF Patrons, Mike Brearley and Claire Taylor, and MCC Chief Executive & Secretary, Guy Lavender, were also present to survey the talent on show.

Speaking about the event, Director of MCC Foundation Dr Sarah Fane OBE said: “The National Hub Final was a truly inspiring day, and I am so grateful to MCC for opening up the Home of Cricket to our young beneficiaries.

“Every player who stepped out on that pitch will remember that moment for the rest of their lives. They will be inspired to continue their cricket and to some, it will be that pivotal moment which may lead on to an exciting career in the game. Above all, I hope it instils the belief that cricket is a game for all and that with passion and determination, one can achieve so much in life.”

Impressed by the day’s proceedings, former England cricketer Isa Guha said: “I was blown away by the cricket on show. The grit, spirit and talent these young girls and boys have shown today is an exciting endorsement of the depth of our grassroots game. It is thanks to MCC and the MCC Foundation that they were able to show this off on cricket’s greatest stage.”

The competition has been made possible by the Foundation’s long-standing supporters, Charles Stanley Wealth Managers. Next year, the charity plans to expand to 70 hubs, servicing almost 3,000 young cricketers nationwide.

A selection of images can be downloaded here.

About MCC Foundation

The MCC Foundation is the charitable arm of Marylebone Cricket Club, owner of Lord’s Cricket Ground, and the guardian of the Laws of the game. The Foundation’s Mission is to unite, inspire, and empower young people around the world through the transformative power of cricket The Foundation has supported grassroots cricket globally since its inception in the nineties, its work spanning Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, South Africa and more recently, Nepal. At home it runs more than 60 cricket hubs across the UK which aim to break down the social and financial barriers to cricket.

The program offers coaching and playing opportunities to state educated cricketers who show promise on the pitch, nurturing their talent and helping them to fulfil their potential.

The Foundation is determined to lead the way to increasing diversity in the game. There is a particular focus on children from the most disadvantaged backgrounds, and a drive to recruit more girls and young players from BAME communities. Given the challenges faced by young people, and especially under the shadow of COVID-19, there is also a focus on mental well-being.

©Cricket World 2021