ECB launches nationwide campaign to celebrate cricket's efforts in coronavirus battle

Telegraph Sport
The Telegraph
Fulwood and Broughton CC painted a message of support to the NHS on their outfield - Fulwood and Broughton CC
Fulwood and Broughton CC painted a message of support to the NHS on their outfield - Fulwood and Broughton CC

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has launched a nationwide campaign to celebrate more than 200 initiatives from cricketers across Britain to support the country in its battle against coronavirus.

The 'Together Through This Test' campaign pays tribute to a number of different feats, from Adil Rashid delivering food parcels to vulnerable people in Bradford, to Lancashire offering 5,000 tickets free to NHS staff and England Women's players Heather Knight, Tammy Beaumont and Sophia Dunkley offering their services to the NHS.

Scroll to continue with content

Other initiatives include a phone support service for isolated older people during lockdown, long-distance charity runs, and Glamorgan's strength and conditioning coach creating free fitness videos.

"Our sport means different things to different people but if this crisis has shown us one thing, it’s the way the cricket family pulls together when times are tough," said Clare Connor, ECB managing director for women’s cricket.

"We are inspired by and grateful to the whole cricket family from the grass roots of the game right up to our elite teams for their incredible team spirit, for not just thinking about their own survival but also about how they can support the wider community.

"We hope this campaign will shine a light on the amazing work being done, help signpost people to the support they need and provide a feeling of hope and solidarity for cricket fans during this challenging time."

The ECB has created an online hub to provide resources for cricketers during the pandemic, while lifelong cricket fan Stephen Fry has voiced a short film paying tribute to those who have helped.

Fry said: "It’s wonderful how patient everyone has been during this incredibly difficult time. Like many cricket fans, I long to hear the sound of leather on willow again, but while we wait it out, we do of course have to stick together and do what we can to support each other.

"It was a pleasure to be able to read [ECB employee] Jimmy Lee’s poem which so wonderfully connects the national game with the national spirit."

Eileen Whelan-Ash, aged 108, is the world’s oldest international cricketer having represented England either side of the second World War. She said: "No cricket was played during the war, but the thought of it kept us going and gave us hope. I think it’s the same now.

"Even without a ball being bowled yet this summer, I’m very proud to see the sport I’ve loved all my life playing its part to help people during this terrible crisis, keeping them hopeful of better times ahead."

What to read next