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Cage Cricket Opened at Ordsall Park

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Walkden CC U11 superstars Harrison showing Darragh how to grip the ball Walkden CC U11 superstars Harrison showing Darragh how to grip the ball

A brand new way of playing cricket in Salford was opened on Saturday 27 July.

Salford became the first place to give a permanent home to 'Cage Cricket', a fast-paced version of the traditional game, specially designed for urban spaces.

A purpose-built cage has been built in Ordsall Park which was opened by various dignatories at the Ordsall Festival on Saturday 27 July. Lancashire's all rounder Tom Smith was also on hand to open the facility and be one of the first to have a go at Cage Cricket. Also present were the Lancashire Girls Under 11 squad having a game or two of Cage Cricket.

Fun was had by all who attended with lots going on from prizes given out and various sporting activity arranged for people to get involved in.

Alex Newby, cricket coach at Walkden CC, said: "This is an excellent new facility for local children to use and for quite a lot of them who will never have had a chance to play any form of cricket before. I am delighted with how our (Walkden CC's) Under 11s are excited about the facility and will be able to play a quick-paced game throughout the summer and winter."

Jasmine Titmuss, Adult Participation Officer for the LCB added: "The Lancashire Cricket Board are pleased to support this initiative, which will give lots of opportunities to inner city children to participate in cricket. At the LCB we are keen to promote the sport in all forms and this new fast-paced version will hopefully raise interest and encourage young people to take up cricket."

 

What is Cage Cricket?

Backed by cricketing legends Sir Ian Botham and Shane Warne, Cage Cricket has been developed to get more people playing cricket and to overcome barriers such as lack of time, space, money and the sport's old-school elitist image.

The ‘cage' is a walled or fenced-off concrete area which is the size of a basketball court.

The rules are simple; six people play at once, taking it in turns to bat, bowl and field across four zones. Players compete as individuals but have to work together to win by hitting the ball on the sides of the cage. There is also no external umpire - this means that fielders rotate around the ‘red zone' where they take on the responsibility of calling decisions.

The game allows people of all ages to get involved, regardless of where they live or their background. Players are also encouraged to design their own bats and logos, engaging the kind of creativity seen in skateboarding and BMX.

The scheme funded through S106 funding has been a working partnership between Salford City Council, Cage Cricket and Lancashire Cricket Board. A joint bid for ‘sportivate' funding has also been submitted to provide Cage Cricket coaching sessions at Ordsall Park.

The Cage Cricket facility is part of a new sports zone at the park - which includes a new multi-use games area with basketball and football, and outdoor gym and fitness equipment. People will be able to try these out to when it opens at Ordsall Festival, organised by the Friends of Ordsall Park.

For more information about Cage Cricket visit: www.cagecricket.com. The Salford City Council have a dedicated page for Cage Cricket at Ordsall Park, which can be accessed at: www.salford.gov.uk/cagecricket.

Images courtesy of Salford City Council and more available in Image gallery on the right.

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