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A Year In Sport: Bopara’s big year

16:30 16 January 2015

Essex and England's Ravi Bopara has been awarded a benefit year in 2015 (pic: Tony Marshall/PA)

Essex and England's Ravi Bopara has been awarded a benefit year in 2015 (pic: Tony Marshall/PA)

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Essex and England star gets 2015 benefit

Essex and England’s Ravi Bopara honed his cricketing skills on the green spaces of east London.

A former pupil at Newham’s Brampton Manor Academy, Bopara played club cricket for Hainault & Clayhall before making his name on the county scene.

And he is delighted to have been awarded a benefit year in 2015, saying: “It gives me great honour that my boyhood county have awarded me a benefit year.

“I will never forget my East London roots. Hainault & Clayhall first gave me the opportunity to play cricket and progress through a natural pathway into the Essex age groups at the age of 11.

“And it is very important that, as part of the year, Hainault & Clayhall CC will be organising a benefit event. I’m thoroughly looking forward to going back home to play cricket where it all began for me.

“The benefit committee have been working tirelessly in an exciting, busy but most importantly a fun packed year ahead.

“I fully intend to meet as many Essex Cricket fans and personally thank them for their ongoing support.”

A full list of events are still being finalised for Bopara’s benefit year, but the intention is to ensure his local community is at the heart of most of them.

As well as visiting Essex League outfit Upminster and holding a T20 event at the County Ground in Chelmsford, Bopara – currently chasing World Cup glory with the England one-day squad in Australia – hopes to host another function at Lord’s and at the Grange Hotels.

“It gives me great pleasure to be supporting some amazing charities, such as the Essex Cricket Community Trust, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Lords Taverners, Magic Bus and the Indian Ocean Disaster Relief Fund,” he added.

“The chosen charities are close to me, some I am patron off and others have been influential in my cricket, either supporting my cricket development or reminding me as a cricketer how fortunate I am in my life and my duty to help those less fortunate.”

Supporters can follow the progress of Bopara’s benefit year on his website boparabenefit.com as well as on social media account on Twitter @BoparaBenefit and Facebook.

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