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ECB pays tribute to Smart

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The ECB has expressed its regret upon learning of the passing of John Smart, who died last week.

Smart was an integral member of Walmley CC in Warwickshire and a main driving force behind the development of women’s cricket within the club and the wider area.

His passion of cricket was clearly displayed throughout his involvement in women’s cricket over the last decade and his death represents a great loss to the cricket community.

Smart was a founder committee member of the Regional Women's Midlands League and supported the growth of the league from six teams in 2006 to its current membership of over 35 teams.

Neil Alsop of Walmley CC said: "John will be sadly missed at Walmley, not only because of his drive to develop women's and girls cricket, but also as a steadfast friend.

“John was somewhat of a father figure to all of our girls and all at Walmley shall strive to ensure that we honour his memory by further developing the women's game in our area."

Sue Redfern, the ECB’s national development lead for women's cricket, said: "John was a respected member of the women's cricket community, his knowledge and experience of a variety of formats and competitions was always useful.

“At times John challenged the ECB and the decisions made within women's cricket. For me this was a real benefit and one that I respected as it showed passion and drive.

“Many times John wanted to see the Midlands region develop and sustain its own activity. This is what we were last working on as a national group.

"It is sad that John will not see the changes he has helped to make, but I hope the work he did will leave a positive legacy and remind people of the work John did.”