Australian and Pakistan cricketers go into bat for Chance to Shine

Chance to Shine children in London and Birmingham had the experience of a lifetime this week as they took part in coaching clinics with some of the stars of the Australian and Pakistan teams thanks to the ICC CSR partnership with Chance to Shine during the ICC Champions Trophy.

Australian trio David Warner, Phil Hughes and Glenn Maxwell took part in a coaching clinic at Edgbaston yesterday (6 June) with over 40 children from Chilcote Primary School, Moseley Secondary School and Bishop Challoner Secondary School. They took part in a series of fielding and mini-cricket sessions led by Chance to Shine coaches from Warwickshire Cricket Board. At the conclusion of the session the children were able to ask the stars a variety of questions about their careers and how to be a good cricketer.

Earlier in the week, Pakistan players Abdur Rehman, Asad Shafiq and Nasir Jamshed took part in a coaching clinic with 19 children from a local London primary school, Curwen Primary School. The boys and girls had an opportunity to warm-up and play a mini-match with the players on the outfield at The Oval cricket ground. Afterwards they had a chance to ask the stars questions about how they got into playing cricket and why it is such a good sport to take part in.

Maxwell, who had a couple of balls hit for six into the stands by one child, said post the coaching clinic: “The group I had were a little bit older, they had a few opening bowlers and batters and they have a bright young future, it was an entertaining day seeing the kids with a smile on their faces and it was good to get a break from all the hard training that we have to do. It’s been a very rewarding day and hopefully they got something out of today too and they can take it into their future careers.”

“Charities like Chance to Shine are very important, to maintain the growth of cricket and keeps kids away from computer games and watching TV and out playing sport in the sunshine instead. Cricket is such a great social game where they can meet other kids and really build their social skills and hopefully they can take a lot moving forward.”

Team-mate Hughes commented: “I really loved today and it seemed like all the kids really loved it too, they all seemed to have a smile on their face and hopefully we’ve made a bit of an impact.”

“I think it’s very important to take an hour or two out of our schedules and do something like this. I am very honoured to be part of the Australian side and to travel to ICC tournaments and to be able to come out on the field and play some cricket with these kids is a great idea, I’m a big believer in these types of events during ICC tournaments.”

Asad Shafiq said about taking part in Oval the clinic: “It was a really great hour we got to spend with the kids this afternoon, giving them tips on how to play better cricket and also tell them a little bit about ourselves and how we became involved in the sport.”

“It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to give back to the communities we come to visit with our cricket, whether it’s at home or abroad.”

Nasir added: “I really enjoyed today, we got to spend some time with some fantastic kids who are learning about how great cricket can be as a sport and Chance to Shine are doing a great job to make sure cricket is being played from a young age in schools in the UK.”

Chance to Shine Chief Executive, Wasim Khan added: “These children have had a truly unforgettable experience. We pride ourselves on inspiring children to play cricket and playing with the Australian and Pakistan players is something that these children will remember for the rest of their lives. Thanks to Cricket Australia, the Pakistan Cricket Board and the ICC for this great opportunity.”

Chance to Shine will be partnering with two of the ICC’s matches during the tournament, India v West Indies at The Oval on 11 June and then Australia v New Zealand on 12 June in Edgbaston.

Chance to Shine is the biggest grass-roots sport development programmes ever undertaken in Britain. It was launched in 2005 by Governor of the Bank of England Sir Mervyn King to reverse the decline of cricket in state schools and has now brought cricket to 2million schoolchildren. The programme is not just about cricket, young people involved in the programme are developing essential life skills and values, such as leadership, discipline, teamwork and understanding how to win and lose.

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