Cricket clubs encouraged to open their doors to the local community during international cricket weekends

  • New England Cricket Team Sponsor Waitrose to offer £100 worth of products to 1,000 cricket clubs and to donate £100 to grassroots cricket development for every four or six scored across the entire international summer

In partnership with Waitrose, the ECB is inviting cricket clubs up and down the country to throw open their pavilion doors this summer and welcome guests from their local community by hosting a Club Open Day.

Building on the successful launch of the initiative last year – which saw 310 clubs hold Open Days across the five Investec Ashes Series weekends – clubs that host an official ECB Club Open Day this summer will be able to take advantage of an exclusive £100 food and drink offer from Waitrose to help deliver and fundraise from their event.  Registered clubs will additionally be automatically signed-up to the myWaitrose scheme allowing them to enjoy ongoing rewards and benefits throughout the season, and will have access to an online toolkit to help promote their Open Day.  Branded polo shirts for event organisers, banners and signage will also be provided to clubs by the ECB.

In another exciting development one lucky registered club, who regularly use their myWaitrose card this summer, will have their entire season-long spend refunded by Waitrose.

Registration is open now via the ECB website (www.ecb.co.uk/clubopendays) and the first round of Club Open Days will run on Saturday June 14 and Sunday June 15, alongside England’s first Investec Test Match against Sri Lanka at Lord’s.  During the summer it is anticipated that thousands of events will be held at cricket clubs all over the country to coincide with England’s international cricket weekends.

Former England captain and ECB’s Managing Director of Cricket Partnerships, Mike Gatting, said: “Club Open Days represent a unique opportunity for cricket clubs to capitalise on the public interest in England’s international summer.  By opening their doors and showcasing what they have to offer to their local community, clubs will hopefully be able to inspire newcomers to come and join them – whether that is as a player, volunteer, social member, or even a local business as a new supporting sponsor.

“We encouraged clubs to hold Open Days for the first time last summer.  For the 310 clubs who took part they were a huge success, with thousands of new club members signed-up across the country, in addition to clubs enjoying a significant revenue injection from hosting an event – collectively more than £149,000.  Waitrose’s offer of £100 to participating clubs for food and drink this year is extremely generous and I’m sure the programme will be hugely popular.”

In addition to supporting Club Open Days this summer, Waitrose have further committed to developing the grassroots game by confirming that they will donate £100 to the ECB Charitable Trust for every four or six scored across the entire international summer.  This includes every England men’s, England women’s, England Lions, England under-19s and England disability match, with resultant funds (estimated to amount to around £150k) being made available for cricket clubs to apply for a special grant from.

Commenting on the Waitrose charitable donations initiative, Mike Gatting added: “For Waitrose to donate £100 to the ECB Charitable Trust for every single boundary scored across the entire international summer is fantastic news and a huge boost for the development of the grassroots game.  This initiative will result in a very significant pot of money being made available to cricket clubs and has the capacity to make a real difference.  Let’s hope it’s a good summer for the batters and that they can get the ball over the ropes on a regular basis.”