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CRICKET FAMILY IS ‘TOGETHER THROUGH THIS TEST’ DURING LOCKDOWN

Today’s launch of Together Through This Test marks the collective response of cricket at all levels with a powerful short film, narrated by cricket fan Stephen Fry, that underlines the unique quality of a game where patience and digging in for the greater good is a virtue installed within all who play, watch and enjoy the sport.

The campaign will highlight some of the unsung heroes from across the professional and recreational game, providing updates on, as well as launching new, cricket-led initiatives that the general public can get involved in to help support their local community.

More than 200 campaigns have already been launched across cricket in England and Wales from volunteers at local clubs embarking on long-distance charity runs to players, coaches and staff at first-class counties phoning members to check on their wellbeing.

Numerous clubs and volunteers in Somerset have been supporting local communities and charitable organisations during this period.

  • Somerset County Cricket Club have produced a limited edition shirt in support of Love Musgrove, designed by 12 year old competition winner Tom
  • Minehead’s Stuart Tudball made a bespoke Somerset Cricket Rainbow chair with all donations and proceeds going to mental health charity, MIND
  • Bridgwater Cricket Club completed a sponsored head shave to raise funds for @LoveMusgrove
  • Bath Cricket Club’s Sam Mount is leading a club effort to raise funds for MIND by running shuttles for every run, wicket and wicket keeping dismissal from the 2019 season
  • Our staff have taken part in the #MakeACall campaign, contacting Members of the Somerset County Cricket Club to talk about cricket
Stuart Tudball's 'Rainbow Chair'

Stuart Tudball’s ‘Rainbow Chair’ that has raised over £2,000 for MIND

The ECB has set up a COVID-19 resource hub to offer assistance, focussing on:

• Providing physical and mental health support to the general public, with NHS information, a Vitality ‘Fit 4 Cricket’ series and a Lord’s Taverners online hub for cricket-based activities

• Delivering fun and educational interactive resources for children in partnership with Chance to Shine

• Supporting the recreational game by providing emergency funds and resources

The key initiatives to date include:

• Running 21 programmes providing food to NHS staff, the vulnerable and the homeless

• Supporting the isolated and vulnerable with #MakeThatCall where players, coaches, staff and former players ring older members and stewards from their club

• Cricket clubs being used for COVID-19 testing and blood donations

• Three England Women’s players offered their services to the NHS – Heather Knight, Tammy Beaumont and Sophia Dunkley

• Players helping to create content to keep families entertained and active during lockdown with over 80 million video views to date

• The Lord’s Taverners creating a free online hub to support disadvantaged and disabled young people with physical activity and mental wellbeing during lockdown

• Running 49 fundraising initiatives. These range from England’s Physical Disability men’s team collectively running a marathon a day for ten days, in aid of the Lord’s Taverners, to a 5-year-old cricket fan from Cheshire doing the 1,000 Bat Challenge for the NHS after hospital staff saved his life

• Launching three financial schemes to provide immediate support for the national network of cricket clubs and leagues

Eileen Whelan-Ash, aged 108, is the world’s oldest international cricketer having represented England either side of the second World War. She said:

“No cricket was played during the war, but the thought of it kept us going and gave us hope. I think it’s the same now. Even without a ball being bowled yet this summer, I’m very proud to see the sport I’ve loved all my life playing its part to help people during this terrible crisis, keeping them hopeful of better times ahead.”

Clare Connor, ECB Managing Director, Women’s Cricket said:

“Our sport means different things to different people but if this crisis has shown us one thing, it’s the way the cricket family pulls together when times are tough.

“We are inspired by and grateful to the whole cricket family from the grassroots of the game right up to our elite teams for their incredible team spirit, for not just thinking about their own survival but also about how they can support the wider community. We hope this campaign will shine a light on the amazing work being done, help signpost people to the support they need and provide a feeling of hope and solidarity for cricket fans during this challenging time.”

Stephen Fry said:

“It’s wonderful how patient everyone has been during this incredibly difficult time. Like many cricket fans, I long to hear the sound of leather on willow again, but while we wait it out, we do of course have to stick together and do what we can to support each other. It was a pleasure to be able to read Jimmy Lee’s poem which so wonderfully connects the national game with the national spirit.”