The ECB has launched a new nationwide campaign, ‘Together Through This Test’, which aims to shine a light on the work done by cricket in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Cricket staff, volunteers and players from across all levels of the game have taken part in over 200 initiatives during lockdown, according to the ECB, creating and getting involved in projects such as long-distance charity runs, food delivery and giving support for those left isolated through phone calls.
The new campaign will emphasise the work done by those across the game, as well as highlight the resources that the governing body for cricket in England and Wales has made available to the public.
A short film, narrated by cricket fan Stephen Fry, has also been released, capturing the spirit of the cricket community and celebrating the way in which society has come together during the crisis.
Eileen Whelan-Ash, aged 108, and the world’s oldest international cricketer having represented England either side of the second World War, 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.”
Clare Connor, ECB Managing Director, Women’s Cricket added: “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.
“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.”
Stephen Fry said of the initiative: “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 Jimmy Lee’s poem which so wonderfully connects the national game with the national spirit.”