English cricket’s governing body – the ECB – has launched a new initiative designed to get more 5-8 year olds playing cricket.

Touted as the future of junior grassroots cricket, All Stars Cricket will be a nationwide programme developed by the ECB and the Elite Coach Development team and delivered by your club. The eight-week course will be introduced in May through local cricket clubs and centres, offering youngsters a first experience of the sport. It is a part of the ECB’s broader framework for the game – Cricket Unleashed.

Cricket Unleashed

Cricket Unleashed spells out a strategy to inspire more people, with a particular emphasis on families, to get involved with cricket. By making the game more accessible to the next generation of not only players but coaches and volunteers, it strives to deliver on a simple promise – that creating and delivering more play creates more players, more teams and more fans, enabling cricket to thrive through future generations.

Its simplicity is its greatest strength – and measuring the plan’s success will simply come down to the number of people who play and support the game over the next five years.

They provide, you deliver All Stars Cricket!

The ECB will provide your club with everything you need to deliver the All Stars Cricket programme, including free equipment, free training for volunteers and parents and a series of fun session plans created by experts. Additionally, national marketing will be provided to help recruit children to your club as well as guidance on the next steps.

Matt Dwyer, director of participation and growth at the ECB, said it has the potential to make a significant difference to the sport’s youth base, and believes family participation is vital to the programme’s success.

It’s all about putting a bat and ball in the hands of more children at an earlier age. We want to make playing cricket a fun and enjoyable experience for children and give them a passion for the game to last a lifetime. We want to make sure parents have a great first experience at the club and give them the chance to have an hour back with their kids every week. We will be encouraging parents to get involved with sessions, whatever their prior knowledge of the game.”

Update:

The deadline for clubs passed in December – with more than 2,000 clubs signing up to the scheme – but from Monday 20th March, parents can register their children via the ECB website. Get involved!

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