Virat Kohil snaps selfie with Yorkie, Hari.
Yorkie Hari’s once-in-a-lifetime experience as a volunteer in Cricket…
This week, one of the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation (YCF) Yorkies, Hari Joshi, not only met HM The Queen and HRH Duke of Sussex but was also asked for a selfie by none other than Virat Kohli, during his duties as a Cricketeer.
Yorkie Hari has been volunteering with the YCF (who are the official charity and community arm of Yorkshire County Cricket Club) since 2018 and this year, has become a Cricketeer, volunteering at the Cricket World Cup.
We asked Hari about his trip to London, here’s what he said:
“I was asked to represent the CWC19 volunteer community during a visit to HM The Queen at Buckingham Palace. The visiting party included 10 captains of CWC19 and selected office bearers from ICC, ECB and CWC.
Prior to the Palace visit, I had the privilege of meeting all 10 CWC19 captains in a posh hotel near the palace, and travel with them in a coach for the escorted tour and HM The Queen’s reception to Cricket Captains and Officials.
The visit to Buckingham Palace and meeting HM The Queen and HRH Duke of Sussex (Prince Harry), introducing myself and talking to them about working as a Cricket Volunteer, is a lifetime experience I will cherish forever. I did mention to both Royals that I volunteer at Emerald Headingley, in Leeds, during Cricket games. They were keen to know what a volunteer’s duty involved during a Cricket game; I was happy to explain all that.”
Volunteering in sport has been increasingly prevalent since the London Olympics in 2012, with many people now seeing and understanding the value of a volunteering community at sports events.
Commenting about the Yorkie volunteers at Emerald Headingley, Will Saville, Head of the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation, said:
“Volunteers are an extremely valuable asset to any professional sports club and here at Emerald Headingley, we really value our Yorkie family and the contribution they make to the spectator experience and the whole atmosphere at the ground.”
Volunteering not only adds to the overall feel and experience of the event, but can also have tremendous benefits for the volunteers themselves. Beth Cook, Health and Wellbeing Manager, Yorkshire Cricket Foundation, commented:
“There are many wellbeing benefits associated with volunteering, not only for those accessing the service provided, but to the volunteers themselves. We appreciate that everyone has different motivations for volunteering and are accommodating of this within our volunteer programme, whilst ensuring the experience is worthwhile for all involved. We see our volunteer programme, in particular the Yorkies, as a way for people to develop personally and professionally, to socialise and create new networks, and to support cricket (in particular YCCC).”
Hari finished his tour on a high, by not only meeting, but being asked for a photo by none other than Virat Kohil. He added:
“As the tour finished and we were going back to attend the CWC19 Opening Party at the Mall, we were in a 16-seater coach and I sat next to Aron Finch and Virat Kohli! Virat noticed I had my phone in my hand. He said, “I bet you would like a selfie of this occasion to share with your friends and family. Please give me your phone, I will do it for you”. Virat was kind enough to take a selfie using my own phone, and said, “Here you go, enjoy this moment.
Whilst thanking him and wishing the best of luck, I simply could not stop appreciating my own luck to live through that moment!
This experience is evidence that a volunteer’s duty at a Cricket game is worthwhile and is appreciated by one and all. For me, this is an experience to cherish forever. Being in company of celebrities is overwhelming.”
The Yorkshire Cricket Foundation would like to say a big good luck to all the Yorkies volunteering as a Cricketeer this year- enjoy!