PERSHORE Cricket Club chairman Phil Oxley hopes the presence of Worcestershire captain Daryl Mitchell will help encourage more people to take up the game when he visits for their ECB Club Open Day.
The ECB Club Open Days initiative, supported by Waitrose, is a nationwide programme which aims to help boost grassroots cricket participation by encouraging cricket clubs to open their pavilion doors and welcome guests from their local community for a day of cricket taster sessions and activities.
This summer more than 1,000 cricket clubs will host a Club Open Day, with Pershore one of them on Sunday, June 12.
The club are running a T20 competition all day and welcome anyone in the community to come along and play, as well as enjoy a barbecue.
Pears skipper Mitchell, who was born in Badsey, will be trying to boost the number of young players and will conduct a question and answer session with the club’s under 19 team.
Oxley fears for regional cricket and is desperate the day helps to attract new members.
“I think regional cricket is struggling throughout the whole country,” he said.
“Around us a lot of village sides struggle and have even closed down because numbers have fallen so low.
“We are trying, as a bigger club in the area, to help all local sides and this day will be part of that.
“We are trying to make sure they have a future and that village cricket can be good again. It will be a long process but we will hopefully make it work.”
Entering its third year, the ECB Club Open Day scheme has proved to be a successful initiative, with 900 clubs holding events in 2014 – a 300 per cent increase from 2013 – welcoming 116,820 guests, with 9,000 becoming new players, volunteers and social members.
Clubs taking part will enjoy a £100 food and drink offer from Waitrose to help deliver their event and Oxley is hoping to get plenty of new faces through the door.
“We welcome anyone to the club of all ages and abilities to come and have a go,” he said.
“Cricket is a great game and you get to meet some fantastic people.”
For more information about Club Open Days, supported by Waitrose, including a full list of clubs registered, visit ecb.co.uk/clubopendays.