England have an eye on winning the 2019 Cricket World Cup this summer but one young fan from Frampton-on-Severn CC is already a winner after receiving a “Golden Ticket” to the final.
— GCB Cricket (@GCBCricket) 16 April 2019
Sid was presented with the real tickets by All Stars mascot Twinkle, who paid a surprise visit to his home in Frampton-on-Severn.
Sid’s mother Krystyna said: “It was a massive surprise and it is incredibly exciting. Sid hadn’t shown a huge interest in cricket before this year so to think he will go from that to being at the World Cup Final is amazing. I don’t think he realised the significance of it at first but he is really looking forward to it. He has received all of his All Stars kit and quite a few of his friends are going to the sessions at Frampton so he is raring to go.”
The “Golden Ticket” winners were chosen at random with special winning codes put into the All Stars booklets of a handful of lucky children across the country. Krystyna admits they weren’t aware of the code and the “Golden Ticket” giveaway until they received a phone call from the ECB. And Sid’s good fortune has been particularly welcomed by the family who have had to endure a tough time since having to move into temporary accommodation because of a house fire at their family home in November.
Krystyna added: “It has been a difficult time so it has been great to have some nice news and something to look forward to.”
2019 is the third year of the ECB’s All Stars programme and it continues to go from strength-to-strength in Gloucestershire. 71 clubs are taking part this year, up from 42 in 2017 and 60 last year. The number of kids signed up this year is 2.284 with the GCB well on course to exceed the 2,434 who took part last year. The GCB was the only county to meet – and exceed – its ECB target last year and only three counties currently have more youngsters signed up this year.
GCB operations manager Chris Munden said: “We thought it would be almost impossible to beat our figures from last year but it seems that we are on course to do just that. Our staff have worked tirelessly to support clubs with All Stars and it has been fantastic to see it having such a positive effect. A number of clubs have started youth sections as a result of All Stars and literally thousands of children will be playing cricket this summer who might not have been without its introduction.
“With the World Cup and the Ashes on the horizon this is a huge summer for cricket. We want to make sure we can use these events to capture children’s imagination and develop a lifelong love of the game. All Stars is a great starting point and we hope to build from there.”
The GCB has also trained more than 150 All Stars Activators to run the sessions in their respective clubs.