Story: Danny Hall | Photos: Gaby Spinks
With help from England test captain Michael Vaughan, the English Cricket Board and nPower launched the start of work on the ‘Urban Cricket’ initiative at Abbeyfield Park in Burngreave.
Under the £140,000 scheme, a purposebuilt cricket facility is being constructed in the park and five school playgrounds will be redeveloped into ‘Urban Cricket Zones’. The ECB, their sponsors and Vaughan were at the site on Thursday 7th February to announce the scheme and the England skipper gave the project his backing.
“It’s great to see these schemes making a difference to the local community,” he said. “I didn’t have many opportunities like this when I was young but I just used to play against a lamppost. The aim is to introduce cricket to people who’ve never played the game.”
Former cricketer Alex Morris played for Yorkshire before working as Activity Sheffield’s Cricket Development Officer and stated that the community of Burngreave is ‘great’. “Everyone’s really into their cricket here. We help clubs move onto the next stage of their development. Four kids have already progressed through to Sheffield districts.
“The nPower Urban Cricket Zone is a great facility that’ll be used all year round – cricket’s still an emerging sport in this area but a lot of people are playing it, so the more facilities we have here the better.”
It’s estimated that the pitch will be completed in early April, when it will be open for anyone to use. There will also be regular coaching sessions. To find out more contact Amie Rowland at Sheffield City Council on 273 6952.