Vaughan gives backing to NatWest CricketForce 2007

England captain Michael Vaughan has urged cricket fans up and down the country to lend their support to NatWest CricketForce and while he prepares for England’s first World Cup match, has handed Matthew Hoggard the task of helping to make the 2007 event the most successful ever.

Vaughan, who is training with England in St Lucia ahead of the match against New Zealand on Friday, said the NatWest CricketForce initiative, one of the most important in recreational cricket, had the backing of all members of the England side.

“Every member of this England World Cup squad started out by playing club cricket,” he commented.

“Making sure the very best possible facilities are in place for the season for everyone who plays there is vital to the success of the game and this simply wouldn’t be possible without projects like NatWest CricketForce, which is why it is so important that people get behind this initiative.

“Club cricket is at the heart of the national game and NatWest CricketForce is fantastic at making sure families and communities up and down the country get behind their local clubs and get involved. On behalf of the England Team we’ll all be thinking of you and good luck."

Saltaire CC/CricketForce 2005

Matthew Hoggard painting at Saltaire CC in 2005

Vaughan’s England and Yorkshire team-mate Matthew Hoggard, one of a number of England stars who flew around the country in a helicopter for NatWest CricketForce 2005 to help a variety of clubs refurbish their pavilions and improve facilities, is back in action in 2007 appearing on national television to promote the event and provide details on how cricket clubs can register.

Hoggard will be on BBC Breakfast on Thursday March 15, where he will give some background on his experiences of the event - and encourage clubs to go online on and register.

Already, the numbers of clubs registered for the NatWest CricketForce weekend on March 31-April 1 has set a new record. In 2005, 650 clubs took part and last year that number increased to 1,062 but in 2007, that target was reached with another three weeks to go making this years event the most successful since it started in 2002.