Photo Credit: Marylebone Cricket Club
MARYLEBONE CRICKET CLUB FOUNDATION (MCCF) HOSTED THE BOYS’ AND GIRLS’ FINALS OF ITS ANNUAL NATIONAL HUB COMPETITION AT LORD’S CRICKET GROUND ON SATURDAY 29 JULY.
The event marked the conclusion of a 20-week long competition that has seen state-educated boys and girls aged 16 and under from 77 sites across the country competing against one another for a chance to play at the Home of Cricket.
The event did not disappoint, with two exciting finals comprising of the charity’s most talented beneficiaries taking place on the Main Ground. In the Girls’ event, Guildford came out on top against the Bolton Hub by four wickets. In the Boys’ Final, Reading beat Bradford by 12 runs. Bolton’s Megan Russell, for retiring on 51, and Bradford’s Abdullah Hussain, for the only five wicket-haul on the day, were the respective players of the match. Bradford captain Hudson Rowan also retired after hitting a half-century.
Both finals took place in succession on the Main Ground in front of a packed-out Pavilion. More than 1,000 spectators were in attendance with tens of thousands engaging with the day online and via the live stream on MCCF’s YouTube channel. Commentators, Guy Swindells, Cath Dalton and MCCF Young Ambassador Georgie Heath were joined by players, Hub Managers, and other guests from the world of cricket throughout the day.
All four teams were provided with an unforgettable experience, including access to the Pavilion Dressing Rooms and lunch served in the Players’ Dining Room.
The National Hubs form the cornerstone of the MCCF’s work in the UK, ensuring that every young cricketer can be empowered to reach their full potential in the game, regardless of race, gender, or socio-economic circumstance.
The Hubs also look to nurture young talent, creating opportunities for promising young cricketers to hone their skills and improve their confidence under the mentorship of the MCCF’s network of coaches.
MCC President and MCCF Patron, Stephen Fry, MCCF Director, Dr Sarah Fane and England captain Heather Knight presented medals to the girls. MCC Director of Cricket & Operations, Jamie Cox, MCCF Chair of Trustees, Phillip Hodson and London Spirit’s Mason Crane, presented medals to the boys.
Speaking about the event, MCC President Stephen Fry said: “As patron of the MCC Foundation I felt it very important to be here today and have seen some wonderful cricket from some very promising and talented youngsters. The work of the MCC Foundation is so critical in enabling, encouraging and supporting children that otherwise would not have the opportunity to do so, to get into the game and hopefully fall in love with it, as I have done. Congratulations to Bolton, Guildford, Bradford and Reading for making it to the finals.”
Director of MCC Foundation Dr Sarah Fane OBE said: “We are incredibly grateful to Guy Lavender and MCC for providing this unique opportunity for our beneficiaries. It cannot fail to inspire them and will likely stay in their memories forever. In the wake of the ICEC report we are all more aware than ever how far we have to go before cricket can be seen as a game for all. We must all do more. The MCC Foundation is determined to grow our National Hub programme significantly so that thousands more children can benefit from free access to cricket, and it really can be a game for all. The game has so much to offer, and we will endeavour to ensure that any young person, whatever their background or gender, can access and thrive in the game.”
The competition has been made possible by the Foundation’s long-standing supporters, Charles Stanley Wealth Managers.