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CRICKET FAMILY IS ‘TOGETHER THROUGH THIS TEST’ DURING LOCKDOWN

Somerset County Cricket Club has joined the campaign to celebrate over 200 cricket initiatives across the game in support of the nation during COVID-19.

  • An emotional short film, narrated by cricket fan Stephen Fry, pays tribute to the response of the cricket family to the pandemic and thanks fans for their patience
  • Somerset has joined the cricket family which has launched more than 200 initiatives at all levels of the game from long-distance charity runs, delivering food to the vulnerable and a phone support service for those left isolated during lockdown

The Club is proud to jointly launch ‘Together Through This Test’, a nationwide campaign to shine a light on how the cricket family has reached out to local communities during COVID-19.

The campaign will highlight some of the unsung heroes from across the professional and recreational game as well as providing updates on, as well as launching new, cricket-led initiatives that the general public can get involved in to help support their local community.

More than 200 campaigns have already been launched across cricket in England and Wales from volunteers at local clubs embarking on long-distance charity runs to players, coaches and staff at first-class counties phoning members to check on their wellbeing.

Somerset County Cricket Club have been delighted to support both local communities and charitable organisations during this period.

  •  Producing a limited edition shirt in support of Love Musgrove, designed by 12 year old competition winner Tom
  •  Turning on the Club floodlights in recognition of the NHS as part of the #ClapForCarers campaign
  •  Launching Inside Edge – a dedicated resource to provide young Somerset supporters with relevant learning activities
  •  Taking part in the #MakeACall campaign, in which both players and staff contacted Members of the Club to talk about cricket
  •  Working with the Somerset Cricket Board to support the recreational game with competitions and exclusive content

Today’s launch of Together Through This Test marks the collective response of cricket at all levels with a powerful short film, narrated by cricket fan Stephen Fry, that underlines the unique quality of a game where patience and digging in for the greater good is a virtue installed within all who play, watch and enjoy the sport.

The ECB has set up a COVID-19 resource hub on ecb.co.uk/covid-19 to offer assistance, focussing on:

• Providing physical and mental health support to the general public, with NHS information, a Vitality ‘Fit 4 Cricket’ series and a Lord’s Taverners online hub for cricket-based activities

• Delivering fun and educational interactive resources for children in partnership with Chance to Shine

• Supporting the recreational game by providing emergency funds and resources

The key initiatives to date include:

• Running 21 programmes providing food to NHS staff, the vulnerable and the homeless

• Supporting the isolated and vulnerable with #MakeThatCall where players, coaches, staff and former players ring older members and stewards from their club

• Our cricket clubs being used for COVID-19 testing and blood donations

• Three England Women’s players offered their services to the NHS – Heather Knight, Tammy Beaumont and Sophia Dunkley

• Our players helping to create content to keep families entertained and active during lockdown with over 80 million video views to date

• The Lord’s Taverners creating a free online hub to support disadvantaged and disabled young people with physical activity and mental wellbeing during lockdown

• Running 49 fundraising initiatives. These range from England’s Physical Disability men’s team collectively running a marathon a day for ten days, in aid of the Lord’s Taverners, to a 5-year-old cricket fan from Cheshire doing the 1,000 Bat Challenge for the NHS after hospital staff saved his life

• Launching three financial schemes to provide immediate support for our national network of cricket clubs and leagues

Clare Connor, ECB Managing Director, Women’s Cricket said, “Our sport means different things to different people but if this crisis has shown us one thing, it’s the way the cricket family pulls together when times are tough.

“We are inspired by and grateful to the whole cricket family from the grassroots of the game right up to our elite teams for their incredible team spirit, for not just thinking about their own survival but also about how they can support the wider community. We hope this campaign will shine a light on the amazing work being done, help signpost people to the support they need and provide a feeling of hope and solidarity for cricket fans during this challenging time.”

Stephen Fry said: “It’s wonderful how patient everyone has been during this incredibly difficult time. Like many cricket fans, I long to hear the sound of leather on willow again, but while we wait it out, we do of course have to stick together and do what we can to support each other. It was a pleasure to be able to read Jimmy Lee’s poem which so wonderfully connects the national game with the national spirit.”

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