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Tens of thousands of boys and girls have played cricket for the first time this summer thanks to All Stars Cricket.

All Stars Cricket is a new initiative from the England and Wales Cricket Board in its second year, aimed at providing children aged five to eight with a great first experience in cricket. Every child that joined an All Stars Club receives a backpack full of goodies including a cricket bat, ball, activity book, personalised shirt and cap which has seen nearly than 70,000 children aged between five and eight took part in the programme across England and Wales.

The facts and figures for All Stars Cricket in Somerset are just as impressive with nearly 2300 children participating in the initiative across 50 different clubs which is an increase of over 500 children. Somerset are also the only county to have three clubs Lansdown, Knowle & Bedminster attracting over 100 children to thier session.

Locally, Somerset County Cricket Club have supported All Stars Cricket with Tom Abell, Max Waller, Peter Trego, George Bartlett, Paul Van Meekeren, Tim Groenewald, Tom Banton, Tom Lammonby, Jack Brooks, Jamie Overton and Nathan Gilchrist all visiting All Stars Clubs and joining in at sessions which has been fantastic. Just last week the club hosted All Stars Cricket Day at The Cooper Associates County Ground for the Somerset vs Sussex Vitality Blast match. This saw over 450 All Stars Cricketers with thier parents from All Stars Clubs across Somerset, Cornwall, Devon and Dorset attend the match free of charge and they all had the opportunity to be able to go on to the pitch before the match for a celebration photo

Matt Counsell, the Somerset Cricket Board League & Club Development Officer, who ran All Stars in Somerset, said: “Cricket among primary school-aged boys and girls has continued to be boosted thanks to the programme.

“Amongst the 50 clubs there were new clubs for 2019 such as Claverham who had over 60 children at thier sessions, Staplegrove 46, Chard nearly 40, Wombat CC over 30 and Blagdon close to 30 which is brilliant for a year one club . We also have seen clubs significantly grow their All Stars numbers from the first two years and had Lansdown, Bedminster and Knowle having over 120 All Stars.

“We definitely got more bats and balls into kids’ hands and inspired them and their parents into a passion for cricket in what has been a fantastic summer so far.

“Somerset County Cricket Club have been brilliant in their support as well from the amazing T20 ticket free ticket offer for the Sussex Blast game and the likes of Tom Abell, George Bartlett, Max Waller, Peter Trego and Paul van Meekeren all taking part in a number of sessions with various clubs. Overall, I think that year three has just seen All Stars Cricket grow even more both nationally & locally.”

To find out more about All Stars Cricket and to register your interest for next year visit allstarscricket.co.uk