Marylebone Cricket Club Foundation

Making the national game more accessible

Cricket is England’s national sport but participation at the highest level is dominated by a narrow group – 45 per cent of professional players were privately educated. Marylebone Cricket Club Foundation (MCCF) wants to break down barriers so that more young people – irrespective of their gender, ethnicity and socio-economic group – can enjoy the game and have the opportunity to play cricket at the highest levels.

We are pleased to support MCCF’s Action Plan for London with a grant for £25,000. This will help deliver free cricket training and match play to underprivileged 11 to 16-year-olds at MCCF hubs in 10 London boroughs. As well as widening access to cricket, the training will include life skills modules on mental health, nutrition, women and girls’ health, strength and conditioning, and financial management.

  • MCCF supports more than 3,000 young people across the UK in 76 cricket hubs.
  • 200 MCCF beneficiaries from 2022 went on to play cricket at district, regional or county level.
  • 100% of the players supported by MCCF hubs are state-educated, 32% are girls and 31% are from ethnically diverse communities.

© Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikimedia Commons /CC-BY 2.5

Levelling the playing field

MCCF’s Action Plan for London has several components. Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds will take part in indoor cricket competitions, training and match play at Lord’s and a residential visit to Arundel Castle Cricket Club as part of Match Play. The cost of kit can be a barrier for young people. The Player Support Fund offers kit bursaries so young players can continue to play cricket safely. It can also help with travel costs.

The Springboard programme will give 48 stand-out players specialist training in the run up to county trials. MCCF will make sure that participants are well prepared and seen by county and district scouts. 

“MCCF hubs are a wonderful vehicle to get young people into the game. The high-quality coaching, delivered within a holistic framework, offers a great opportunity for young cricketers at all stages of their career. Cricket is for everyone and the MCCF hubs are committed to ensuring widespread opportunity for all and encouraging a lifelong interest in the game.”

Mike Atherton OBE, MCCF Patron, former Captain of England Cricket team

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