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Cricket Match to support Community and Charity

Leicester Time: Cricket Match to support Community and Charity

Leicestershire’s UptonSteel County Ground to host match featuring a host of figures from different fields and backgrounds.

Leicester Time: Cricket Match to support Community and Charity
Picture: Pukaar News

A community cricket match is taking place on 6th September to help raise funds for the Leicestershire CCC Foundation.

Taking place as part of the ‘Connecting Communities Festival’, the match has been organised by the High Sheriff of Leicestershire Mehmooda Duke, with the aim of connecting communities across Leicester and Leicestershire through the game of cricket.

The participating players have varying levels of ability, with business leaders and staff from the city’s universities and hospitals taking part, as well members of Leicestershire’s police force, representatives from Leicester City Council and community faith leaders. Cricketing expertise will be provided by members of the Leicestershire CCC women’s team.

The players have been split into two teams – the Sheriff’s Foxes and the Leicestershire Blades. The match will have 100 balls per innings, replicating the format seen in The HUNDRED competition.

The festival has free entry and gates open at 3pm, with the match itself starting at 4pm. As well as the cricket, there will be plenty of entertainment including a bouncy castle, a steel band, hair braiding, henna artists and food stalls.

Importantly, the match will help raise important funds for the charities the Leicestershire CCC Foundation supports. This charitable arm of the county cricket club is currently partnered with two children’s charities – Alex’s Wish and Healing Little Hearts – as well as supporting grassroots cricket in the county and the Leicestershire CCC Academy.

“When I started thinking about how best to connect communities in our city, it was obvious to me that a cricket match was a great option,” said Mehmooda Duke MBE, High Sheriff. “We have 24 players involved, and it’s just a brilliant way to engage with different communities of people.”

“What started with just an idea has grown into what is set to be a fantastic event with not only a cricket match, but also a festival and award ceremony. It’s an excellent way to engage with people and we are hoping this will become an annual event moving forwards.”

Leicester Time: Cricket Match to support Community and Charity
Bishop of Loughborough Saju Muthalaly will be captaining the Sheriff’s Foxes team during the match. Picture: Church of England Diocese of Leicester

The Sheriff’s Foxes will be captained by the newly-appointed Bishop of Loughborough Saju Muthalaly, while the Leicestershire Blades team is being captained by a community cricket and local business representative Nirav Bhatt.

Leicester Time: Cricket Match to support Community and Charity
Nirav Bhatt has been tasked with captaining the Leicestershire Blades team. Picture: Nirav Bhatt

“I have been involved in community cricket for many years and my club Shree Sanatan CC looks to boost awareness and involvement in the sport,” said Bhatt. “This community event is an excellent way to introduce more people to cricket, as well as helping local charities. I’m captain of the Leicestershire Blades and I’m naturally competitive, but this match isn’t about winning and losing but about inclusion. Bringing communities together is what it’s all about and I’m very excited to take part.”

Mark Barber, head of community development at Leicestershire CCC, said: “I’m excited that we are able to host the High Sheriff’s Hundred cricket match and festival at the UptonSteel County Ground and look forward to the event connecting communities through this fantastic game. We hope this event gives people the opportunity to see that cricket can be a game for everyone and bring people together from all backgrounds.”

Leicester Time: Cricket Match to support Community and Charity