“Days like today show that cricket is in a really good state.”
England Test captain Alastair Cook’s words perfectly captured the upbeat mood at Dymock CC during the recent NatWest CricketForce weekend, which saw thousands of volunteers help local clubs get ready for this season.
Dymock was one of 2,166 grassroots clubs that opened their doors and toolkits to their local communities in an effort to refresh facilities ahead of the season start.
With 175 volunteers offering their services on the day, the Gloucestershire club was a hive of activity and this scene was repeated at grounds all across England and Wales.
Cook underscored the positive impact on the game of programmes such as CricketForce: “It’s a weekend full of activities around the country for cricket clubs to get up and running for the start of the season. On a practical level, it is about getting the sight screens painted and making sure the covers are right. But on a deeper level, in terms of getting the community together and supporting their local cricket club, I think it’s brilliant.”
Dymock CC chairman, Martin Fowke, added: “We’ve had a fantastic response [to the day] from the community.
“Dymock’s a very small village but we’re actually one of the oldest cricket clubs in the county. We’re 150 years old and, really, this [NatWest CricketForce] is setting us up for the next 150.”
ECB Chief Executive Tom Harrison, who also rolled up his sleeves as part of the Dymock efforts, reflected on the club community at the heart of CricketForce: “Club cricket is absolutely the heartbeat of our game.
“Clubs need all the help they can get to continue being the focal points of the communities that so many of them are. Dymock’s a great example but we have thousands more around the country.”