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England and Surrey star Tom Curran happy to help modernise Ilford Cricket Club on ECB’s annual NatWest CricketForce day

PUBLISHED: 17:00 27 March 2018

Tom Curran with local children at Ilford Cricket Club's Valentines Park ground during Friday's NatWest CricketForce event (pic: Henry Browne/Getty Images).

Tom Curran with local children at Ilford Cricket Club's Valentines Park ground during Friday's NatWest CricketForce event (pic: Henry Browne/Getty Images).

2018 Getty Images

The bowler put on a training session for local children at the Valentines Park club on Friday after helping give Ilford’s facilities a makeover

Work takes place at Ilford Cricket Club's Valentines Park ground during Friday's NatWest CricketForce event (pic: Henry Browne/Getty Images).Work takes place at Ilford Cricket Club's Valentines Park ground during Friday's NatWest CricketForce event (pic: Henry Browne/Getty Images).

England international bowler Tom Curran lended a helping hand to Ilford Cricket Club on Friday during the ECB’s annual NatWest CricketForce day.

The 23-year-old, who played two tests in the winter Ashes, went to Valentines Park to help give the facilities of the Essex League Premier Division side a much-needed makeover.

After doing his part when it came to modernising the Ilford clubhouse, Curran put around 150 local children through their paces with a coaching session.

When asked about why he was at Valentines Park, the Surrey ace replied: “I’m at Ilford CC helping support NatWest CricketForce.

“I’ve been over with the 150 or so kids giving them a bit of coaching, having a bit of a fun runaround with them, and then renovating the clubhouse.

“It’s been great to be down here on a great day like this supporting such an important initiative.”

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 were chosen as one of the showcase clubs and one of the reasons given was down to the history of the Valentines Park outfit.

County Championship Division One champions Essex have played league games in the past at Ilford, while England captains Nasser Hussain and Graham Gooch started out with the local club.

Curran admitted it was great to see so many local children at Valentines Park on Friday and he was more than happy to help put a smile on their faces.

He added: “It’s massive seeing so many kids here at Ilford, enjoying themselves and having fun because that is the most important thing.

“You never know where you are going to find the next future star, so getting as many kids involved and keeping clubhouses in a good state through NatWest CricketForce is what it’s all about. It’s great to play a part in supporting that.”

With the new cricket season starting up again in a month’s time, Ilford will look to make the most of their new and improved conditions.

The Valentines Park club visit Polo Field Ground on April 28 to take on Hutton in the first round of the Essex League Cup.


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