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England stars lend a hand at NWCF

Charlotte Edwards

Engladn women's captain Charlotte Edwards is gearing up for another spot of DIY during what promises to be a hugely successful NatWest CricketForce weeekend

Ashes winner Steven Finn and England women’s captain Charlotte Edwards will swap bats for paint brushes and playing shirts for overalls when they launch NatWest CricketForce 2011 at Witham Cricket Club in Essex on Friday April 8.

The pair will be joined by thousands of volunteers at clubs across the country over the three-day campaign as they lend a hand with pre-season preparations and club refurbishments.

England pace bowler Chris Tremlett, ECB head of women’s cricket Clare Connor and England women’s spinner Holly Colvin will be wielding a paint brush alongside Mike Gatting at Bognor Regis CC, Sussex, on Saturday April 9.

The weekend will culminate on Sunday April 10 at Sawley & Long Eaton Park CC in Derbyshire, where Ajmal Shahzad and ex-England captain Michael Vaughan will be joined by England women’s vice-captain Jenny Gunn and pace bowler Katherine Brunt.

The 10th anniversary year will see a record number of over 1,850 clubs take part in the annual volunteering initiative in which cricket clubs enlist the help of the local community as they prepare facilities and grounds for the forthcoming season.

Finn said: “NatWest CricketForce is a fantastic example of how communities and cricket clubs can work together to achieve remarkable results.

“As an international cricketer, this weekend is a great opportunity to get involved in the game at grass-roots level, and see how NatWest CricketForce helps clubs provide facilities for the next generation of cricketers.”

Edwards said: “I’ll be helping out at NatWest CricketForce this year and so should everyone. It’s so important to support your local cricket club so the game continues to grow and there are quality facilities for everyone to enjoy.”

Gatting, ECB managing director of cricket partnerships, said: “I have seen fantastic things achieved by clubs through NatWest CricketForce over the years. It still amazes me the projects that can be completed when the community gets behind their local club.

“Over the last 10 years we have seen new pavilions built, pitches laid, nets and site screens repaired and many litres of paint put to good use, long may it continue.

“NatWest CricketForce is a solid example of how the ECB, NatWest and the club community successfully work together for the good of the game.

“I encourage everyone to go along to their local club this NatWest CricketForce weekend and lend a hand; there is a job for everyone.”

NatWest CricketForce Events

Please note all events will run from 11am to 1.30pm.

Friday April 8

England cricketers Steven Finn, Charlotte Edwards and Laura Marsh together with ECB chief executive David Collier and ECB managing director of cricket partnerships Mike Gatting will attend Witham Cricket Club in Essex.

Main tasks: Refurbishment of the clubhouse and improvement to ground access. Work closely with the hockey club, who share the site.

Saturday April 9

England cricketers Chris Tremlett and Holly Colvin together with ECB head of women’s cricket Clare Connor and ECB managing director of cricket partnerships Mike Gatting will attend Bognor Regis Cricket Club in Sussex.

Main tasks: Pavilion conversion and improvements to access facilities to the site.

Sunday April 10

Ex-England captain Michael Vaughan and England players Ajmal Shahzad, Jenny Gunn and Katherine Brunt, together with ECB deputy chairman Dennis Amiss and ECB managing director of cricket partnerships Mike Gatting will attend Sawley & Long Eaton Park Cricket Club in Derbyshire.

Main tasks: A major pavilion refurbishment on the site in a public park. The development is with local council support and will involve a number of partners including Derby College (construction), the local authority (landowners) and the Football Association (football is played on the same site).

A full programme of NatWest CricketForce events is taking place nationwide over the weekend of April 8-10. For more information on NatWest CricketForce click here.