Businesses pad up for cricket fundraiser

Hundreds of business people came together for an annual charity fundraiser.

Shropshire County Cricket Club’s Pure Telecom Cricket Challenge at Wrekin College saw just under 700 business people attend, with former England international Chris Cowdrey once again stepping in as Master of Ceremonies.

Now in its 13th year, this year’s event held last Thursday was sold out in April and raises money for the cricket club, along with local charities.

Visitors were treated to lunch and two 20/20 cricket matches between Shropshire County Cricket Club and Scottish champions Grange Cricket Club.

Event organiser Toby Shaw, of commercial property agency Towler Shaw Roberts, said: "It sold out in April so it illustrates the popularity and demand for the day.

"It is an important day, not only for Shropshire cricket but for the business community.

"What's nice is we have got Grange Cricket Club here and they have got three or four Scottish internationals playing. It gives our players a chance to play against international cricketers.

"Off the field Shropshire cricket is doing well from a financial point of view and we have got our emerging player programme which has gone really well. What I am keen to do is bring through young talented players."

Matt Sandford, CEO of sponsors Pure Telecom, said: "The recipe has worked perfectly for the event and we are really proud to have sponsored it. We have just renewed to sponsor it for another three years.

"Toby and the team have put a lot of effort into organising this and it has raised over £320,000 for charity and over 8,000 people have attended it over the years.

"Yes, there are other networking events in the county, but nothing is so relaxed like this.

"There is something about this county that is quite magical and I think it is because we have got a lot of entrepreneurs in it who get their heads down and get on with it.

"We as a company have just had our best ever trading year so I think there is a lot to be positive about."

One of the guests was Richard Sheehan, chairman of Shropshire chamber of Commerce, who added: "We encourage business people to come together to collaborate and network.

"It is a fantastic example of that. The event has been established for a long time and has a great reputation. I think it has evolved into one of the key events on the business calendar.

"People find new opportunities to do business to help put Shropshire on the map."

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