Saturday, 12 June 2021

Former test stars helplaunch joint venture

DAVID GOWER and Angus Fraser launched a joint venture between the Berkshire Cricket youth section and Reading Blue Coat School

DAVID GOWER and Angus Fraser launched a joint venture between the Berkshire Cricket youth section and Reading Blue Coat School on Sunday.

The two former England Test stars gave their approval to the outstanding collaboration that will without doubt boost Berkshire cricket.

Mark Allum, chairman of the Berkshire Cricket Youth section, said: “This joint initiative between the county and Reading Blue Coat School gives us an excellent new outdoor cricket centre for youth cricket.

“We have the use of the school’s excellent cricket facilities that has been made possible by a very generous sponsorship by The Head Partnership Solicitors, who have offices in Lower Earley and Henley.

“Sponsorship is very important to us, as the programme we put on for the children in the county costs us in excess of £200,000 a year and we only receive £15,000 from the ECB, so companies like The Head Partnership are really important to us. We are a minor county but we have aspirations to give youngsters the same experience they would get with a first-class county, which obviously costs money, so we are always interested to hear from other local businesses interested in working with us.

“We are also very grateful to the senior staff of Reading Blue Coat School for agreeing this partnership.”

Gower gave his approval to the way youth cricket is flourishing in Berkshire, saying: “The Berkshire set-up is ambitious and it is an awesome thing that is happening here. You can play so much better when you have good facilities and when people like The Head Partnership put money in and show their support; it keeps things moving.

“There are an awful lot of children going through the county system at all levels in Berkshire, with around 1,000 children all training hard, hoping to represent the county. Some of the boys and girls have been representing the county for a long time and some will hopefully move through to the senior team.”

He added: “If even one of these juniors ends up playing for England in 10 or 15 years’ time, then that will be absolutely brilliant.”

Fraser is Managing Director of Cricket of Middlesex and spoke of the close relationship between the two counties.

He said: “Berkshire has provided us with several good players in the past and hopefully that will continue. We want to continue to work closely with Berkshire. Hopefully some of the youngsters here might one day be knocking on my door and be offered contracts to play in the senior side; they might go on to bigger and better things after that.”

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