The Nando’s Bristol Big Bash is back on the cricketing menu – and continuing to go from strength to strength.
The Bristol leg of the ECB City Cup invites players from across the city, all aged between 16 and 22 and with a BS postcode, to have the chance to impress and receive further recognition through the Gloucestershire County set-up or even a fast track career to the professional game.
The three sides are also bidding to represent Bristol in the regional finals against Cardiff, Birmingham and Slough with the aim of then progressing to the national finals at Leicestershire’s New Road headquarters later this summer.
The Nando’s Bristol Big Bash Launch Night took place at the Brightside Ground last Thursday with players taking part in a range of skill challenges with bat and ball, including power hitting and testing bowling speeds along with fun fielding exercises.
Big Bash organiser and Gloucestershire Cricket Board (GCB) community coach Masoor Khan said: “This is the fourth year the tournament has been running and it really is getting stronger and stronger.
“One of our main objectives is talent identification and finding players who have the potential to go on to the professional game.
“The traditional pathway is through county representative cricket, independent schools or higher education, but the Nando’s Big Bash has been set up to provide an alternative route.
“This summer we have three squads of 18 players … some are already playing league cricket on a Saturday while some are here from initiatives such as Last Man Stands and Street Cricket.
“Last year we nominated two players to attend a two-day development trial with the MCC Young Cricketers at Lord’s – it’s very exciting to think that the competition could one day unearth a star.”
Bowlers have another reason to try and impress as they could earn the chance to send down seam and spin in net sessions which will precede the England-Pakistan one-day international and three World Cup matches scheduled to take place at the Brightside Ground next year.
Sunday’s opening round of matches got off to a wet start at Bedminster with play abandoned without a ball being bowled. The Big Bash continues on August 5 and concludes at Brislington on August 12.
Big thanks to Jason Crane for the fantastic photos. For more images from the launch night please visit https://adobe.ly/2LFQQsy