Cricket meets wrestling: England cricketers & Newcastle schoolchildren show WWE Superstars the cricketing ropes!

Stars from the worlds of cricket and wrestling teamed up for the first time ever in the UK yesterday (20th April) to inspire young people from Newcastle.
Cricket charity Chance to Shine brought together England cricketers Ben Stokes and Danielle Hazell with WWE Superstars, The Miz and Dolph Ziggler, for a cricket lesson with a difference at Ravenswood Primary School.
The schoolchildren were tasked with teaching our English game to the American sports entertainers who threw themselves into it. Before long, The Miz was striking balls cleanly off cones with the bat, while Dolph Ziggler showed his skill with the ball after the children gave him their bowling tips.
After the coaching session, the children had the opportunity to ask the cricket and wrestling heroes some of their burning questions in a Q&A. Questions ranged from differences in training and nutrition between the sports to who the wrestlers like to tag team with, what it’s like to step into the ring or to play in an ICC World Twenty20 Final. The afternoon ended with a cricket match in the playground when pupils and WWE stars had the chance to face Ben Stokes bowling.
Chance to Shine, England Cricket and WWE share the same strong belief in the power of sport to teach young people key life skills such as teamwork, leadership and resilience.
Speaking at the event, Ben Stokes said, It’s brilliant to see the kids get so involved and teaching the WWE Superstars what to do. They had never played cricket before and the kids were very enthusiastic about teaching them how to do it! We want to promote cricket to youngsters as they’re going to be the future generation of England cricket. We also want them to enjoy the game as much as we do.
WWE Superstar The Miz, who retained his WWE Intercontinental Title yesterday evening, said, There are not many sports that I haven’t played, but cricket is one of them and I’ve always wanted to try it out. It was incredible and a lot of fun to have the kids from Chance to Shine show us how to play cricket. They were such good teachers!
One of the pupils who took part in the Chance to Shine cricket session, Leo Cragg, 11, said, It’s been great fun meeting The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, Ben Stokes and Dani Hazell today at school. It was amazing to hold The Miz’s Intercontinental Champion Title belt. It’s heavier than it looks!
Another pupil, Charlie Darwood, 7, added, I liked trying to whack the ball as hard as I could – I just love playing cricket! It was brilliant to have the cricketers and wrestlers come to our school.
Later in the evening, Ben was the guest timekeeper for the sixth match, ringing the bell to start the match between The Social Outcasts and Goldust. Ben walked out into the arena to cheers from the WWE fans as a highlights video on the big screen showed his stunning catch at Trent Bridge during last year’s Investec Ashes.
Ben will be eager to secure a place for the England team taking on Sri Lanka in the 2nd Investec Test at Emirates Riverside Durham between 27-31 May.
Chance to Shine is an independent charity that has brought cricket and its educational benefits to 11,000 state schools, like Ravenswood Primary, since 2005. It has spread the power of cricket to three million children half of whom are girl’s. Donations to the charity this summer will be matched by Chance to Shine Patron Adrian Beecroft.


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