Newham residents can apply for tickets to watch Essex Cricket as part of a partnership between the Council and the Club.
The partnership, which aims to encourage more people to take up the game and make Newham the cricket capital of East London by 2020, will give residents the chance to apply for free tickets to every day of the Specsavers County Championship and Royal London One-Day Cup games.
Over 800 tickets will be available, with 60 tickets available for each of the seven County Championship home games, and 100 tickets for the four one-day cup group stage fixtures. These will include the visit of 2018 County Championship winners Surrey to The Cloudfm County Ground in Chelmsford, and the one-day cup match against Hampshire on Essex Cricket’s Family Day.
Information on how to apply for tickets throughout the 2019 season will be published in the Newham Mag. Over 1,000 residents have already attended games after receiving tickets.
The partnership has already seen £200,000 invested in new facilities across Newham, with over 10,000 residents getting involved with festivals and events.
The work will help inspire young people to follow in the footsteps of local cricketing stars like England and Essex all-rounder Ravi Bopara, from Forest Gate, and Saba Nasim, who took up cricket while at Plashet School in East Ham. She received the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s New Year Honours this year for her commitment to coaching women and girls in cricket.
As part of the three-year agreement, which began in 2017, Essex Cricket have helped the Council promote the sport through attending a range of events including the Newham Show in July and hosting coaching sessions in local schools and colleges.
Cricket is already popular in Newham with high levels of women playing the game, and a number of well-established cricket clubs producing some promising young players.
Councillor Firoza Nekiwala, assistant Cabinet member health and adult social care, said: “Collaborations like these bring significant benefits to families and communities within Newham. All physical activity, including cricket, promotes healthy lifestyles and brings social interaction.
“I am glad to see that our children, young people and families are being given the chance to apply for tickets and watch top quality live cricket at the County Ground.
“Partnerships like these will help to grow cricket in the borough and make a positive difference to the lives of our residents.”
Essex batsman, Feroze Khushi, said: “Having been brought up in East London and having attended sessions in the area, I have seen the passion for the game. Hopefully, we can now work in partnership to produce the next wave of top-quality cricketers.”
Dan Feist, head of cricket operations at Essex Cricket, said: “The partnership with Newham Council is a great opportunity to further develop cricket in the area. It will encourage more people to become actively involved with the sport and will give the next generation of both male and female players the opportunity to reach their potential.”
For more information, visit www.newham.gov.uk/cricket.