Photo Credit: Marylebone Cricket Club
THE INAUGURAL MCC COMMUNITY CRICKET HEROES HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED FOLLOWING A NATIONWIDE SEARCH TO FIND THE UNSUNG HEROES OF THE GRASSROOTS GAME.
The campaign, run in conjunction with The Cricketer magazine, was launched in March to celebrate the grassroots game and the thousands of people who support it and make it happen.
The team of 11 winners was chosen from hundreds of nominations received by MCC by a special panel consisting of MCC President Stephen Fry, former England cricketers Claire Taylor and Mike Gatting, Director of the MCC Foundation Sarah Fane, Director of Cricket and Operations at MCC Jamie Cox, and Huw Turbervill, Editor of The Cricketer magazine.
The winning nominations who were chosen for their outstanding contributions to the grassroots game and their communities include Lachlan Smith, the founder of Birmingham Unicorns, one of the world’s only LGBTQ+ grassroots cricket clubs and Sheena Racaldin from Kent, who helped save her local cricket club, Chevening Amblers, after it faced closure following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Simon Prodger was selected as an honorary MCC Community Cricket Hero after he was nominated posthumously. Simon was selected by the panel for his work as Chair of Watford Town CC and made an immeasurable contribution to the recreational game through his work with the National Cricket Conference and Club Cricket Conference.
The winners will be special guests of Stephen Fry at Lord’s to watch a day’s play at the England v Ireland LV= Insurance Men’s Test match next month from the prestigious President’s Suite.
“IT REALLY BROUGHT HOME THE AMAZING WORK THAT IS DONE BY COUNTLESS INDIVIDUALS, MANY OF THEM VOLUNTEERS, TO SUPPORT OUR WONDERFUL GRASSROOTS GAME”
MCC President Stephen Fry commented: “We had an incredible response to the campaign and I want to thank everyone who sent in nominations and took part. It really brought home the amazing work that is done by countless individuals, many of them volunteers, to support our wonderful grassroots game.
“It was a hugely difficult task for the panel to narrow the nominations down and choose our final MCC Community Cricket Heroes but I’m looking forward to meeting and welcoming them all to Lord’s next month.”
One of the winners, John Jarvis, a grassroots coach for over 50 years at Botany Bay Cricket Club in Enfield, added: “I feel honoured, delighted and somewhat overwhelmed to have been chosen as an MCC Community Cricket Hero and will use it to encourage my colleagues at Botany Bay Cricket Club and beyond to get involved in coaching.
“The campaign is real recognition for so many people who support cricket at this level and underlines the commitment that MCC has to grassroots cricket.”
“THE CAMPAIGN IS REAL RECOGNITION FOR SO MANY PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT CRICKET AT THIS LEVEL AND UNDERLINES THE COMMITMENT THAT MCC HAS TO GRASSROOTS CRICKET.”
The full list of MCC Community Cricket Heroes is as follows:
- Mike Banham – Old Buckenham Cricket Club (Norfolk)
- Bobby Behzadi – Little Ealing Primary School & Actonians Cricket Club (Ealing)
- Taj Butt – Great Horton Church (Bradford)
- Rory Field – London’s Blind Cricket Team (Highgate)
- Mike Fox – Fochabers Cricket Club (Scotland)
- Stephanie Hutchins – Plympton Cricket Club (Plymouth)
- John Jarvis – Botany Bay Cricket Club (Enfield)
- Abbie Johnson – Louth Cricket Club (Lincolnshire)
- Sheena Recaldin – Chevening Amblers Cricket Club (Kent)
- Lachlan Smith – Birmingham Unicorns Cricket Club (Birmingham)
- James Worstead – Valenciennes Cricket Club (Northern France)
- (Honorary) Simon Prodger – Watford Town Cricket Club (Watford)