Leicester’s Chance to Shine Street participants were honoured to be involved in the first ever Matchday Experience Package at the NatWest T20 Blast fixture against Northants Steelbacks at the Fischer County Ground.
The occasion was made particularly special due to this being the first ever floodlit fixture at the Fischer County Ground. Over 40 participants from the Chance to Shine Street sessions held at Cossington Street Sports Centre were involved in the day.
Chance to Shine Street is a community cricket programme delivered by Leicestershire and Rutland Cricket, offering free weekly tapeball cricket sessions for Youth (8 to 15 year olds) and Young Adults (16 to 24 year olds).
The first part of the Matchday Experience Package for the youth participants was the guard of honour, with each young person waving a Leicestershire Foxes flag as they welcomed the players and umpires on to the field with Leicestershire Foxes mascot Charlie Fox.
The participants then got to enjoy the action as the Foxes batted first, scoring 178 from their 20 overs. Umar Akmal scored an unbeaten 52, keeping the crowd entertained with three fours and three sixes.
Following the completion of the Leicestershire innings, all of the Chance to Shine Street participants were invited on to the field of play to complete a lap of honour.
Foxes mascot Charlie Fox led the lap of honour, waving to the sizeable home crowd as they passed. Before the Northants innings started, the participants went to have some fun in the Foxes Den, taking part in activities such as speed bowling and diving catching. These are available at every home NatWest T20 Blast fixture.
The Northants innings then got underway with the Steelbacks getting off to a flyer thanks to Richard Levi and Adam Rossington.
The Foxes fought back with a couple of wickets before rain forced a delay and a revised target for Northants, who completed a narrow win with a 6 in the final over. The Chance to Shine Street boys were then fortunate enough to get a few selfies with Foxes star Umar Akmal and a lucky few left with his signature.
Regardless of the result, a fantastic day was had by all of the Chance to Shine Street participants as part of the Matchday Experience Package and they were all excited to go to future NatWest T20 Blast fixtures at the Fischer County Ground.