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Record numbers expected

NatWest Cricketforce organisers are expecting a record number of entrants after 1,180 clubs registered for this year's event.

The initiative attracted 1,375 clubs last year with 85,000 volunteers donating an estimated £35-£40m in cash and kind, but those figures are set to be broken.

This year's NatWest Cricketforce weekend runs for three days from April 3 when the initiative kicks off at Surrey club Ashtead, who were chosen as one of five national showcase clubs.

The four others are Calne in Wiltshire, Warwickshire-based club Highway, Ipswich from Suffolk and Sacriston which is in Durham.

NatWest CricketForce 2008 - Farsley - Mike Gatting

Mike Gatting helps out at Farsley during last year's NatWest Cricketforce initiative

NatWest CricketForce encourages cricket supporters, their friends and families to give something back to their local community cricket club by volunteering to undertake major renovations to clubhouses and grounds.

Such efforts can be massively enhanced if clubs can get local businesses on board. However, a number of companies have offered assistance on a national level.

Sandiacre Town in Derbyshire beat off 14 other clubs to win the Autoguide competition for free VAT on an Autoroller.

All clubs who were successful in the free product allocation of building materials from Build Center are being contacted directly. Equally, the two clubs who won the fencing prize, Bishops Waltham from Hampshire and Crownwood of Berkshire, have been informed of their prize of up to £500 worth of free rabbit netting.

The Dulux Decorator Centres winner of £100 of free paint were Charlbury from Oxfordshire.

All clubs who have registered for NatWest Cricketforce should have received a Build Center privilege card and a Dulux Decorator Centres discount card which they can use to offset the cost of building materials and paint for their club. If any club has not received this then email natwestcricketforce@ecb.co.uk.

The winners of the free Bowdry, also known as a water hog and worth around £500, are Binfield of Berkshire, who staved off 130 other clubs to win the competition.

More competitions will be offered in the NatWest Cricketforce February newsletter.

Watch our video above to see just how good NatWest CricketForce 2008 was!