London Spirit’s Kieron Pollard and Oval Invincibles’ Kira Chathli unveil new cricket wicket in Lambeth’s Mawbey Brough Estate
Sky Sports has joined forces with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Lambeth Council to renovate a local playground on Mawbey Brough Estate and install a permanent Dynamos Cricket wicket. The wicket, which is the first of its kind, is open for free use as of now.
This first wicket installation was launched by former West Indies captain and all-rounder Kieron Pollard, who will star for London Spirit in The Hundred this year, Oval Invincibles’ Kira Chathli and Sky Sports presenter Jacqueline Shepherd. Sky Sports hopes the wicket installation will inspire children from the Lambeth community and beyond to take up the game of cricket regardless of gender, ability or background.
Sky Sports and ECB are entering the second year of Dynamos Cricket Intros, a multi-year initiative offering free cricket courses to children across the country who might not have access to the sport. Free bats and balls have been donated to the local community centre for visiting children to use whilst playing in the playground. They can also scan a QR code to access fun videos on the Countdown Cricket app, helping them get a game started and encourage further play.
Pollard, former West Indies all rounder said: “It’s a great initiative, I think it’s fantastic as a kid to get an opportunity to enhance your skills. Its very very important cricket is accessible, that’s the major thing. Interacting with the sport especially when you have the opportunity to come down here and do it for free and exercise your talents, I think that’s fantastic.”
Jack Eatherley, participation lead at Sky Sports, said: “Dynamos Cricket Intros is a scheme we designed with the ECB to address barriers that might stop children getting into the sport. As we enter the second year of this initiative, we are delighted to be working with Lambeth Council on this pilot project and can’t wait to see this first playground be enjoyed by everyone.”
Nick Pryde, ECB director of participation and growth, said: “We’re proud to be working with Sky on Dynamos Cricket Intros to break down barriers and give more children a chance to pick up a bat and ball. With free access to this brilliant playground Sky and Lambeth Council have renovated, I’m looking forward to many more kids being able to give cricket a go and develop a love for the game. With The Hundred returning soon, this will be the perfect place for them to emulate their heroes.”
Councillor Claire Holland, leader of Lambeth Council said: “This is a very welcome investment in our borough and our young people. I am delighted the wicket is now completed, and open for local children to use and enjoy. I’m sure it will be very popular.
“The goal of providing better sports facilities for our children and young people, in their local areas, is what first got me into local politics. I remain committed to that aim so this project, supported by the wide-range of sports and leisure centres across the borough, is really welcome and meeting local needs.”
In addition to the new play area in Lambeth, Dynamos Cricket Intros aims to reach 10,000 more children by hosting free multi week courses and distributing free kits in schools and community centres across the UK. The scheme is also helping train 500 new coaches from different communities. They will be given free training to pass on their knowledge and enthusiasm for the game to the next generation of players.
Last year was a record-breaking year for participation in cricket with over 100,000 children taking part in all the national programmes. Dynamos Cricket Intros is specifically designed to complement these programmes. Over its 3-year investment Dynamos Cricket Intros aims to reach children who might not ordinarily have access to the sport for a variety of reasons and inspire children, particularly in urban areas.