Cricket club chairman warns World Cup legacy hangs on better park pitches and lessons in schools
Hampstead Cricket Club organiser calls for more investment in wake of historic triumph
18 July, 2019 — By Harry Norton
A CRICKET club chairman has spoken out against the poor quality of public park pitches days after England’s nail-biting win against New Zealand in the World Cup.
Nick Brown, who chairs Hampstead Cricket Club, said a funding windfall that will “undoubtedly” follow the historic “super over” victory at Lord’s on Sunday should be spent on better maintaining public pitches and changing facilities.
He also said schools needed to widen the curriculum to get children playing different kinds of sports.
Mr Brown said: “The one thing that really needs addressing in London is the quality of the ‘park’ pitches. Most clubs do not have the space to accommodate all the cricket they need. At the lower levels, where a lot of juniors play on Saturdays, they are on park pitches and frankly they are awful.”
He added: “Hopefully some of the extra money that undoubtedly will come into the game will address this, as there is no point getting juniors playing adult cricket and progressing if they have terrible facilities to play at.”
Government funding cuts has hit sports and PE in state secondary schools.
Mr Brown said: “At Hampstead we have tried various outreach exercises with local schools, honestly, with mixed success. “Some schools were more interested than others, but our children are from the full spectrum of private and state schools anyway.”
He added: “Of course private schools have much better facilities, but not playing cricket at school doesn’t need to be an impediment to getting interested in cricket. In north west London we have loads of cricket clubs, all of which are accessible, multicultural and safe places for children to learn the game.”
Mr Brown said players and cricket’s governing body would get more money from sponsorship deals following national side’s success, adding: “Quite how much filters down to the club game we will have to wait and see.”
Hampstead Cricket Club was founded in 1865 and is based in Lymington Road, West Hampstead.