Urban Cricket gets House vote
England cricketers Monty Panesar, Matt Prior and Owais Shah today launched the second phase of npower Urban Cricket, in the shadow of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.
The players were appearing ahead of the Parliamentary Reception for the England team, sponsored by npower, and took the chance to have an impromptu game of Urban Cricket on College Green - proving that cricket can be played anytime, anywhere.
The focus for npower Urban Cricket 2007/8 is on facilities and in particular the development of arenas in London, Birmingham, Sheffield, Newcastle and Cardiff. With the addition of recently received funding from the National Sports Foundation, who has matched npower’s initial investment, designated areas will be fully refurbished and transformed into Urban Cricket arenas.
The facilities project extends to the renovation of 25 school playgrounds, five in each city, to providing inner-city schools with facilities to develop kids sporting abilities.
Since the launch of Urban Cricket in 2006, npower has distributed tens of thousands of Urban Cricket kits throughout the UK. Urban Cricket has one simple rule - there are no rules. The free kits comprise of a plastic bat and tennis ball with tape, to enable the ball to swing, in an easy to carry case – no rules, no pitch, no teams, just you and your mates.
England cricketer and Urban Cricket ambassador Monty Panesar said: “2006 was a great year for Urban Cricket. I feel like it made a real impact, increasing kids’ interest in cricket simply by giving them the chance to play the way I started – with my friends in the street. The Urban Cricket arenas are a superb way of keeping kids playing cricket and developing their skills.”
Kevin Peake, Head of customer marketing for npower added: “The aim of Urban Cricket in 2006 was simple – distributing tens of thousands of kits to kids around the country to increase participation in cricket. 2007 focuses on specially created Urban Cricket arenas – a lasting legacy that will hopefully start the careers of future England stars.”