Shropshire Star

Former England captain calls on Shropshire's cricket community to find unsung heroes of the game

Former England captain Mike Gatting calls for Shropshire's cricket community to find next set of unsung heroes as MCC launch their 2024 Community Cricket Heroes campaign.

A selection of last year’s winners on the pitch at Lord’s. Photo: Jed Leicester / MCC

Gatting, who captained England between 1986 and 1988, spoke at Lord’s for the launch of the campaign and said: “It is time for Shropshire's cricketing community to once again step forward and shine a light on those unsung heroes who help keep our game alive.

“We want to find those who dedicate their time and love to the grassroots game and celebrate their commitment to the sport that so many of us love.

“We had a huge response to last year’s first ever competition with some fantastic stories of people who work tirelessly to support the grassroots game so we are calling on the public and cricket communities across Shropshire to get involved again and nominate their community cricket heroes.”

The campaign, which is now in its second year saw 11 heroes of grassroots cricket welcomed to Lord’s last June for the first day of the England v Ireland Men’s Test match, watching on from the prestigious President’s Suite.

Last year’s winners also included Lachlan Smith, the founder of Birmingham Unicorns, one of the world’s only LGBTQ+ cricket clubs; Taj Butt, a groundsman from Bradford who has driven girls cricket participation and used cricket to support the education of young people in his local community and Sheena Recaldin, who helped save her local village club in Kent following the pandemic.

This year, another team of 11 MCC Community Cricket Heroes will be chosen from the nominations by a special panel including Gatting, MCC President Mark Nicholas, and England star Charlie Dean. The panel will be chaired by former England international and MCC Chair of Cricket, Claire Taylor.

The panel will be looking for people who make a positive difference to their community through grassroots and community cricket, from volunteers who go above and beyond for their cricket club and community, to coaches who are inspiring people on and off the pitch or players that have overcome adversity to play or help the game.

The winners will be invited to Lord’s as special guests of the MCC President Mark Nicholas to watch a day’s play from the President’s Suite at either the England v Sri Lanka Men’s Test Match which starts on Thursday, 29 August, or the England v Australia Men’s One-Day International on Friday, 27 September.

To nominate your MCC Community Cricket Hero visit The closing date for nominations Tuesday, 16 July.

By Tom Large - Contributor

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