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Alastair Cook

Jonny Bairstow visits Whixley CC

Bairstow provides boost to local clubs supported by England & Wales Cricket Trust Small Grant Scheme

England batsman Jonathan Bairstow visited Whixley Cricket Club to lend his support to a scheme providing much needed funds to grassroots cricket. The Yorkshire star dropped in to the club to check out the refurbishments that have been made thanks to the England and Wales Cricket Trust Small Grant scheme, an initiative that has been strongly supported by Waitrose.

Whixley Cricket Club, who have senior and junior teams competing in the Nidderdale Cricket League,   are one of hundreds of clubs up and down the country that have recently benefitted from funds distributed by the governing body via County Cricket Boards in a bid to improve their long term sustainability and / or to increase the number of games played. Waitrose supported this initiative by pledging £100 for every four or six scored across the entire home international summer in 2014. The ECB already invests in local cricket clubs to apply for small grants to help improve facilities. The Waitrose donation, alongside backing from Sport England, tops up this fund allowing a greater number of clubs and local communities to benefit.

Whixley CC, a picturesque small village club where the pavilion burned down in 2005, have benefited from funds to purchase and install a new clubhouse kitchen. This newly renovated kitchen area, the latest development of the new pavilion that opened last year, will help the club to provide 'cricket teas' to the players from both Whixley CC and their opponents and help with fundraising events.

Whilst at the club, Bairstow helped the U13 side prepare for a fixture against Spofforth Cricket Club by mentoring the young players and providing expert training tips before serving match teas and refreshments from the newly refurbished kitchen area.

Of the experience, Bairstow said: “It’s always lots of fun to get back down to local clubs and see kid’s passion for the game. Facilities at these clubs are vital, and schemes like this will allow Whixley to offer proper cricket teas, lunches and other social activities for the local area.”

Mike Gatting, ECB Cricket Partnership Ambassador, said: “We’re passionate about creating a sustainable future for cricket clubs and their communities across England and Wales. Small grants to clubs across the country make a huge difference to their long term future”.