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England star Tom Curran to help give Ilford Cricket Club makeover thanks to ECB’s annual NatWest CricketForce day

PUBLISHED: 17:30 21 March 2018

England's Tom Curran in action during day one of the Ashes Test match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (pic: Jason O'Brien/PA Images).

England's Tom Curran in action during day one of the Ashes Test match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (pic: Jason O'Brien/PA Images).

PA Wire/PA Images

The Valentines Park club will see their facilities get some much-needed improvements on Friday with the help of an international cricketer

Ilford Cricket Club will get a special visit from England international Tom Curran on Friday (March 23) after being picked as one of the three showcase clubs for the ECB’s annual NatWest CricketForce day.

Each year, 2,500 cricket clubs sign up to the initiative making it the UK’s largest annual sports volunteering programme, with NatWest and the ECB helping each one renovate their clubs ahead of the cricket season.

This year Ilford CC, of the Essex League Premier Division, have been chosen as one of the showcase clubs.

The reason the Valentines Park club were picked is because they have been praised as “a fantastic community club” with a large junior section and a number of senior teams, but there facilities were in need of general improvement and modernisation.

Ilford’s committee revealed exciting plans for what they want to achieve through this NatWest CricketForce event too and plan on making the most of their improved venue straight away.

Over a hundred school children are set to attend Valentines Park in the afternoon on Friday for an All Stars Cricket event while they will also be hosting a women’s softball festival on the day.

In addition to England and Surrey star Curran visiting, also present at Ilford will be ECB’s Director of Participation and Growth, Matt Dwyer, and Redbridge Mayor Cllr Linda Huggett and local Cllr Mahboob Chaudhary.

Curran will help out, meet club members and put some juniors through their paces in a training session.

With Ilford producing two former England captains in Nasser Hussain and Graham Gooch and also hosting a number of Essex County Championship games in the past, it is only right their Valentines Park home gets some overdue TLC.

Richard Lightbrown, the ECB’s National Programmes Executive, said: “Now in its 15th year, NatWest CricketForce is a hugely important programme.

“It helps bring together club and community volunteers to carry out a wide range of facility improvement projects which will help create more family friendly environments.

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