The London Cricket Trust (LCT) will establish more than 50 new cricket facilities in London between 2018 and 2020.
The registered charity formed by Essex, Kent, Middlesex and Surrey County Cricket Clubs is bidding to ‘put cricket back into London’s parks’ in partnership with the ECB.
“It’s great to see the four counties working together and joining forces with the ECB to provide new cricket facilities,” said Middlesex captain Dawid Malan at the official launch of LCT. “More nets and non-turf pitches means more cricket being played, and that means more physical activity, less obesity and more opportunities for social cohesion.”
The England batsman was joined at Seven Kings Park, Redbridge, by Kent’s Daniel Bell-Drummond, Essex’s Feroze Khushi and Surrey’s Scott Borthwick.
“It’s great news that we have these new cricket facilities in Seven Kings Park operated by Vision,” said Jas Athwal, leader of Redbridge Council. “There is real passion for cricket in our borough and through this project local people of all ages and abilities will have the opportunity to play the game for free and keep healthy. Providing first-class sports provision is right at the top of our agenda.”
Forhad Hussain, trustee of the London Cricket Trust, said: “The demand for cricket facilities across London has never been greater and this programme is being launched at the perfect time. Everybody – the county clubs, ECB and councils across the city – have come together to provide this massive boost to the game.”
Bruce Cruse, the ECB’s head of participation, added: “The new cricketing facilities at Seven Kings Park will empower local communities to have the opportunity to play the game in a way and at times that suits them.
“Our South Asian Action Plan includes a commitment to providing access to cricketing facilities in urban areas across the country and projects like this are a key part of our plans to grow the game, get a bat and ball in more hands and ensure that cricket is a sport that is accessible for everyone.”
The LCT has already installed new facilities at Hillyfields in Lewisham, Streatham Common, Lampton School in Hounslow and Victoria Park in Tower Hamlets. A further 25 facilities, both new and non-turf pitches, will be installed before the start of the 2019 cricket season, with at least 20 new facilities to follow in 2020.