Saturday, April 13, 2024

PCA: Game comes together for first Festival of Cricket

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Photo Credit: Professional Cricketers’ Association

Players, supporters and partners enjoy day out in support of Trust.

The cricketing community came together on Friday as the Wormsley Estate played host to the Professional Cricketers’ Trust’s first ever Festival of Cricket.

Players, supporters and PCA partners were all present for the day of celebration which centred around fundraising for professional cricket’s charity, which offers life-changing support to current and former players who need it most.

The weather got brighter as the day went on, and those present were treated to an excellent contest between the PCA England Legends and the Wormsley-based Sir Paul Getty XI, the latter securing victory by six wickets with just a ball to spare in the evening sunshine.

With England legends Graham Gooch and David Gower coaching on the sidelines, the likes of Ali Brown (61 from 36 balls), Richard Levi (51 from 27) and Paul Horton (49 from 43) were in inspired form during the T20 fixture.

As spectators took in performances from more of the game’s greats including Matt Prior, Graeme Swann and Mark Ramprakash, fundraising for the Trust continued throughout the day.

Guests in the marquee were able to take part in a live auction, a silent auction and a raffle after being treated to a lunch from Hoggy’s Grill, prepared for them by 2005 Ashes winner Matthew Hoggard. The activities saw a combined £29,000 raised to boost the charity, after the proceeds from the day’s ticket sales also went to the Trust.

After spectators spilled out onto the boundary edge, they were then able to take advantage of the food and drink concessions around the ground, and there was even a special art exhibition featuring work from current and former professional cricketers.

The Barmy Army and Root Academy were also present to add to the inclusive atmosphere at the ground as youngsters were able to train on the outfield ahead of the day’s main fixture.

It all combined to create a memorable day for the Trust at what was the charity’s first ever Festival of Cricket, and provided welcome fundraising after 2020 saw the organisation miss out on an estimated £140,000 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Professional Cricketers’ Trust Chair David Ford reflected on an historic event for the charity: “It’s been a great day. It’s been brilliant to have the general public at one of our events and to see so many people getting involved. To get everyone together after such a nightmare scenario in Covid-19 has been exactly what everyone needed.

David Ford, Professional Cricketers’ Trust Chair on the Trust’s first ever Festival of Cricket held at the Wormsley Estate

Photo Credit: LinkedIn profile photo of David Ford

“I’ve been Chair of the Trust for 15 years, and we’re very fortunate that over the years we’ve been able to increase the depth and scope of what we do through fundraising events like this.”

PCA Chief Executive and Trust Director Rob Lynch said: “I’m delighted that so many people were able to enjoy a great cricket match at our first major event since the pandemic started, and that the Professional Cricketers’ Trust’s event programme is back up and running.

“Like many charities, last year had a massive impact on us, and we lost a lot of money through not being able to put on events. So the ability to put on events like this will raise crucial funds for a charity that is so vital for our members.

“I’d like to say a special thank you to the 22 players who gave up their time for free to support the charity at the Festival of Cricket.”

Captain of the victorious Sir Paul Getty XI Mark Ramprakash said: ”It’s been a great day and it’s been lovely to see some old colleagues as well as some new guys getting involved with the PCA England Legends.

“There are so many professionals here who have given up their time to come and support the Trust, which is such an important cause and does such sterling work with those who have fallen on hard times.”

Find out more about the Professional Cricketers’ Trust.

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