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19 Jul

YCF to celebrate new cricket facilities in Bradford

Yorkshire Cricket Foundation (YCF) will celebrate the opening of new cricket facilities in a special ceremony at Myra Shay.

The new cricket facilities, installed in the inner-city park in Bradford, thanks to funding from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), will be officially opened on Wednesday, 20 July.

The opening ceremony is part of a community event, hosted by YCF, that will see a Tapeball competition – where a a tennis ball wrapped in electrical tape and is used in backyard cricket, take place, while welcoming Northern Superchargers star Jenny Gunn along to meet community and school groups.

Pictured Northern Superchargers player Jenny Gunn.

Jenny Gunn said: “I’m delighted to be part of this special opening ceremony today and it’s important to continue breaking down barriers in local communities by providing accessible facilities like this.

“These brilliant facilities will give members of the community an opportunity to take part and enjoy cricket in a safe and secure environment.

“It’s an honour to be part of this and hopefully in turn I can inspire youngsters here today!”

The outdoor cricket practice nets have been built in Myra Shay Recreation Ground off Barkerend Road and include a three-lane public open access practice net facility, built to England and Wales Cricket Board standards, on a section of the park close to Lapage Primary School, while a non-turf pitch has also been created.

It is one of the steps in creating a new “sports hub” at the Council owned facility.

Pictured an artist’s impression of the three-lane public open access practice net facility, part of the new cricket facilities at Myra Shay

Nick Pryde, the ECB’s Director of Participation and Growth, said: “We are delighted to see the new Myra Shay facility open today, which will help to inspire the next generation of cricketers to grow the game in Bradford.

“Our aim is to see more people playing the game, so that we can have a positive impact on communities across the country, getting more people fit, healthy and active.

“We know how important it is to have facilities to give people the opportunity to do that, which is why we’re investing in a number of projects across the city.”

Across the district the ECB are funding a number of open access facilities, meaning people don’t need to be a member of a club to use them.

Bradford Park Avenue is a facility which has been central to the ECB’s investment plans in the city because of the role it plays in servicing the community, including the Quaid-E-Azam league and a range of programmes targeted at local children.

The ECB has invested over £650,000 directly into facilities at Bradford Park Avenue, including the eight lane net facility and changing pavilion used by thousands of participants annually. It has also worked with Bradford Metropolitan District Council to build 12 non turf pitches and three further practice facilities around the city, to ensure there is local access to facilities.

Bradford Park Avenue is within a 3 mile radius of 30 cricket clubs, 32 cricket pitches, 164 schools and 295,000 people.

Featuring at the community event will also be cricket-based activity sessions for young people to take part in and a number of community stalls.

Zain Ul Abdin, a Community Development Officer in Bradford, for YCF, who has helped organise the event, said: “The opening ceremony is a special day for the Foundation – with lots of community cricket opportunities and activities also available to take part in on the day.

“A lot of work has gone on to reach this point by a number of organisations and today we hope to inspire young people and members of the community to make the most of these fantastic cricketing facilities now and in the future.

“Having these facilities is really significant for the local area and going forward we hope this will open up opportunities to continue breaking down boundaries and get as many people involved in the game as possible.”

At the community event there will also be the opportunity to find out more about The Hundred competition – the action-packed new 100-ball competition – back for its second season in August and featuring Leeds-based team Northern Superchargers.

Stay tuned to Yorkshire Cricket Foundation social media channels for coverage on the day.

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