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The culture of cricket is alive

A CHANCE TO GET ACTIVE: Cricket has many benefits

THE ASHES has captured the attention of avid cricket fans around the world, yet a new and innovative indoor cricket facility, based at London’s most popular children’s entertainment attraction is rightfully sharing some of the shine.

Middlesex Cricket has recently launched Lord’s Cricket Ground at Kidzania, covering an area of over 200 metres squared, with it’s own iconic Lord’s Pavilion on one side, the Lord’s JP Morgan Media Centre on another and complete with spectator seating, flood-lights and Middlesex and MCC branding around the ground, presenting youngsters with a mini version of the real thing.

Viv Richards, Chris Gayle, Brian Lara remain cherished household names for many West Indian families and cricket fans around the world however Middlesex Cricket’s chief executive, Richard Goatley is keen to build on youth participation in the sport and “increase the exposure of cricket to a much wider audience.”

Almost 30,000 children actively took part in Middlesex Cricket school projects in the last twelve months in over 450 primary, secondary and special educational needs schools across Middlesex.

PARTICIPATED

There are also 190 All Star centres being run at recreational cricket clubs in London with over 4,500 children having participated in the programme in London in 2017.

Across London, 33 per cent of participants are BAME (Black Asian and Minority Ethnic) with 27 per cent South Asian and whilst Kagiso Rabada, Alzarri Joseph and Kusal Mendis are positive young role models and cricketers of African, Caribbean and Asian decent, female representation is significantly reduced professionally and recreationally. Only 16 per cent of girls took part in the London All Stars Cricket programme in 2017.

AWARENESS

Middlesex and England cricketer, Eoin Morgan, recognises the lack of awareness of what the game can offer but confidently said: “Cricket is for everyone, it can be played anywhere, and can now be played all year round via a format that suits the players, thanks to spaces like the one at KidZania.”

Lord’s Cricket Ground at Kidzania will give children and young people a chance to take part in the game, get active, have fun and learn life lessons such as the importance of teamwork, nutrition, healthy lifestyle and good sportsmanship.

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