ECB launches 'Together Through This Test' campaign to celebrate work of cricket community during pandemic

Malik Ouzia
Evening Standard

The ECB has launched the ‘Together Through This Test’ campaign to celebrate the work of the cricket community during the coronavirus pandemic.

The all-encompassing campaign aims to shine a light on a broad range of initiatives, from individual fundraising ventures by fans to the use of international grounds such as Edgbaston as Covid-19 testing centres.

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It also celebrates the work of professional cricketers such as England trio Heather Knight, Tammy Beaumont and Sophia Dunkley, who have all volunteered for the NHS, and World Cup winner Adil Rashid, who has been delivering food parcels in his hometown of Bradford.

It also features an emotive video narrated by celebrity cricket fan Stephen Fry which “captures the spirit of the cricket community” as they wait for the game to return from its shutdown, which will not happen until at least July.

“It’s wonderful how patient everyone has been during this incredibly difficult time,” Fry said. “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.”

Surrey spinner Amar Virdi has been volunteering with Nishkam SWAT in London
Surrey spinner Amar Virdi has been volunteering with Nishkam SWAT in London

Some of the more than 200 projects involved are aimed at helping the game in this country tackle what ECB chief executive Tom Harrison called “the biggest challenge in its history”, while others are designed to benefit society more broadly, supporting the NHS, key workers and the vulnerable.

The ECB also hope the launch will raise awareness for the support it has made available to aid clubs and individuals through the testing period.

That includes a range of online resources, such as physical and mental health support and interactive tasks for children, as well as three financial schemes to help the game at recreational level.

ECB managing director of women’s cricket Clare Connor said: “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.

Shaldon Cricket Club in Devon cut a message of support for the NHS into the turf at their ground
Shaldon Cricket Club in Devon cut a message of support for the NHS into the turf at their ground

“We are inspired by and grateful to the whole cricket family from the grassroots 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.”

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