Friday 22 February 2013 

Youngsters get their hands on the ICC Champions Trophy and get tips from Boyd


Young people from across the country gathered in Birmingham yesterday to take part in a national StreetChance cricket competition, where they were able to get up close to the prestigious ICC Champions Trophy and get tips from Warwickshire Fast Bowler, Boyd Rankin.

Teams from London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol, Dewsbury and Hull gathered at the National Indoor Arena to compete in an inter-city half-term ‘street’ cricket tournament. Both boys and girls aged eight to 18, took part in six-a-side matches, split into a junior (under 14) and senior competition.

During the afternoon, Rankin – who was part of Warwickshire’s LV= County Championship-winning team – shared cricketing bowling tips and took on umpiring duties for some matches.

Speaking from the competition Rankin commented: “StreetChance is a great initiative that can be played almost anywhere and can really help youngsters develop new skills as well as widely increasing cricket participation.

“It’s fantastic to work with a great bunch of young cricket fanatics and with such an exciting schedule of matches coming up, I hope we get to see them at Edgbaston this summer, supporting the Bears or cheering on their team in one of the five ICC Champions Trophy 2013 fixtures.”

Birmingham’s Edgbaston Stadium stages five matches in the ICC Champions Trophy 2013, including England v Australia, South Africa v Pakistan, Australia v New Zealand, Pakistan v India and the Final.

The tournament takes place in June and the StreetChance teams at the NIA got chance to see the trophy as part of a promotional tour in the host city of the Final.

StreetChance is an inner-city cricket initiative run in partnership between the Cricket Foundation and Barclays Spaces for Sports to divert young people away from youth crime and anti-social behaviour through free, year-round cricket sessions. 

The programme uses a fast-paced version of cricket played with a tape-ball – a tennis ball wrapped in electrical tape – that lasts 20 minutes and gives every player the opportunity to bat, bowl and field.

The scheme also aims to break down barriers between police and young people through special ‘Peace at the Crease’ events where children and local officers play tapeball cricket with and against each other. Within Birmingham, StreetChance works with West Midlands Police and Warwickshire Cricket Board and holds weekly community sessions in Saltley, Sparkhill, Nechells, Aston, Hodge Hill and Shard End.

Active in six other cities – London, Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol, Hull and Dewsbury - the initiative engages young people living in areas where there is little opportunity to play team sports.  With sessions held after school, and during school holidays, StreetChance allows young people to remain engaged with sport outside the classroom.

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