Six grassroots cricketing heroes have received the British Empire Medal in the New Year Honours for their services and dedication to cricket.
Former Glamorgan cricketer Mark Frost received the award for his work as Community and Development Manager for Glamorgan CCC and Cricket Wales. He has led numerous Cricket Wales projects including the Chance to Shine community programme and helped to introduce All Stars Cricket to Wales. During the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 (CWC19) Mark was solely responsible for helping develop and implement one of the biggest schools’ ticket programmes at Cardiff – ensuring local school kids could be inspired by the World Cup.
A committed volunteer to CWC19 as well as his local community, Afzal Pradhan is involved in multiple volunteering projects including the homeless project raising money for winter warmer packs. For the Men’s Cricket World Cup he was invaluable – taking part in multiple areas as a volunteer interviewer, a volunteer facilitator and a team leader during the tournament.
Having volunteered at the ICC Champions Trophy and Women’s World Cup, Chris Sheldon went on to make a massive contribution to CWC19. During the tournament Chris completed 19 volunteer shifts across four venues. Chris’ primary role at the tournament was with the Broadcast and Media team where he was an invaluable member of the team and a huge support.
Juliet Wiles is a former PE teacher, turned cricket coach, who has encouraged children and adults of all ages to play and fall in love with the game. She started the Shotley Ladies Cricket Club four years ago and the team has now gone on to be part of the Suffolk T20 Developmental League. Juliet decided to put herself outside her comfort zone and volunteer at the Cricket World Cup. She went on to complete multiple shifts at the tournament as an integral part of the sports Presentation team.
Peter Thomas is Chair of the Norfolk Cricket Alliance and helped found Swardeston Cricket Club. He is now club captain and life member at Swardeston, a club he has served for more than 50 years as a player and volunteer official. The club have won multiple national titles in recent years including the National ECB Club T20 in 2010, 2016 and 2019 as well as the National Club Championship in 2019.
Rayburn Bainbridge was a CWC19 volunteer in the North East playing an integral part helping to reach out to a huge network of volunteers in the area. Ray communicated with thousands of volunteers raising awareness and encouraging people to become involved. He also made a huge contribution to the tournament as a Broadcast and Media volunteer where the team received glowing reports about him and the support he provided.
Talking about the honours, ECB Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison said, “It was, of course, fantastic to see our World Cup winning heroes honoured in the New Year Honours, but it is equally pleasing that some of the unsung heroes of our great game are being recognised for their incredible contributions.
“Whether volunteering at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup or through years of voluntary support at their local club or community, they are the true unsung heroes of our sport and we are delighted for all of them. They are the people who help to keep our great game thriving across England and Wales and they’re so deserving of this recognition.
“Cricket is a sport that is most celebrated at the international level but the work of everyone beneath the very top level is the work that sustains the game – we thank everyone who gives their time and dedication to cricket.”