3 September 2014
The Nottinghamshire and England all-rounder Samit Patel is scheduled to visit Wolverhampton CC this Sunday (7 September) as part of the ECB initiative to boost cricket participation through the hosting of a club open day, in partnership with Waitrose.
The town of Wolverhampton has a large Asian community, and the club is hosting an internal 'England v India' match, with Patel later overseeing junior coaching sessions, encouraging locals to get into cricket. Through the season almost 1,000 clubs will have held an open day on England's international cricket weekends. Each event is supported by Waitrose, who are donating £100 worth of food and drink to clubs to help raise money from the event.
Wolverhampton is one of more than a hundred clubs across the country offering disability cricket opportunities, and representatives of the England Visually Impaired and Physical Disability squads will be visiting the open day aiming to inspire new players locally.
A Lancashire Lions Visually Impaired team and Beacon Centre for the Blind have a match against a Wolverhampton XI, who will wear simulation spectacles and blindfolds. Other entertainment on the day features the NatWest international T20 against India from Edgbaston live on a big screen.
Commenting on the event, Patel said: "Open days are all about cricket clubs opening their doors and raising some buzz in the local community. It's a brilliant way to get people down to their local clubs and encourage them to play. I'm really looking forward to meeting everyone at Wolverhampton and working with the coaches to pass some tips to the youngsters that attend."
Waitrose have further committed to developing the grassroots game by confirming that they will donate £100 to the ECB Charitable Trust for every four or six scored across the entire international summer. This includes every England men's, England women's, England Lions, England Under-19s and England disability match, with resultant funds open to applications for grants. The amount likely to be raised has been estimated at £150,000.