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Going back to school

Posted in England U19s

The England Development Programme has the main focus of developing us as cricketers, especially with the Under-19 World Cup just around the corner in August.

The programme also aims to develop us as individuals. As some players are still going through education, there are periods of time set aside for them to study.

This is an opportunity for the non-academics to improve their personal skills. On our recent trip to Bangladesh, three of the players - Brett Hutton, Rammy Singh and I, decided to organise the tour community project.

The main aim of a community project is for us to use our privileged positions to give something back to the country we are touring and to appreciate their culture.

We decided to revisit the foundation that previous England U19s have supported. The School of Hope is a local school in a deprived area of Dhaka, which provides education to children aged five-11 and supports them through their childhood in every way possible.

On arriving at the school the lads were speechless. The children's welcoming to us was overwhelming.

Aneesh Kapil Shozair Ali

Worcestershire bowler Aneesh Kapil and Shozair Ali of Warwickshire got involved when the U19s visited School of Hope

We got involved with some of their classes, even Tim Boon took a maths lesson and learnt a lot himself. Afterwards, we were treated to one of their cultural dances with a few of the lads joining in. Adam Ball, Mo Abid and Jack Leaning were the ones pulling the moves.

The afternoon was the main interest, not only for the children - a trip to Dhaka Zoo. The kids couldn't wait as very few had been before. They had a fantastic time walking around with us and seeing all the animals.

As players, we found the interaction with the kids something we will treasure and to see them smiling all day was very special.

As well as treating to kids to a day out, we also left them with exercise books, pens and a Kwik Cricket set. This was funded from the team's fine committee. Many thanks must go to Simon Webster for contributing most of this.

The day will be treasured by the England U19s for the rest of their lives. As players we will take a lot from it, not only for giving the kids a brilliant time, but our life skills will have improved no end.

Hopefully further England U19 teams will keep the connection with the School of Hope.

England Under-19s

Adam Ball, Mo Abid and Jack Leaning show off some moves at the School of Hope

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