Hoggard backs Wanstead’s Open Day
PUBLISHED: 16:46 30 July 2013 | UPDATED: 16:46 30 July 2013
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Former England man promotes Ashes-themed day this weekend
Former England fast bowler Matthew Hoggard has called on Wanstead and Snaresbrook Cricket Club to make the most of the Ashes this summer – adamant the consequences of doing so will be far reaching.
Wanstead and Snaresbrook will offer their very own slice of Ashes fever on August 3 – the third day of the third Test against Australia at Old Trafford – after signing up to hold an ECB Club Open Day.
Hoggard, part of England’s 2005 Ashes-winning team, got a first-hand taste of a Club Open Day on July 13 as he held a question and answer session at Mansfield Hosiery Mills.
The 36-year-old, still playing for Leicestershire, also assisted with coaching club juniors and, after seeing the success of their Club Open Day, he believes Wanstead and Snaresbrook Cricket Club’s will be just as good.
“Obviously when I was playing I wasn’t necessarily aware of the huge buzz,” said Hoggard, who claimed 248 Test wickets in 67 matches for England.
“But there was the same media attention and the Ashes is something special and holding a Club Open Day is great for the social network.
“People come down and enjoy each other’s company. It is ideal for kids with the cricket on and space outside and it is great to see that buzz around the Ashes.
“That is what makes the Club Open Days such a great initiative. You can make a real event of it and it is something that people of all ages can enjoy.”
And Hoggard admits the potential to earn extra revenue, combined with the possibility of introducing new children to the game of cricket, means Wanstead and Snaresbrook Cricket Club will be onto a guaranteed win.
“Kids come down who haven’t played cricket before and potentially want to get involved and that is exactly what it is all about,” he added.
“There were kids as young as five and six at Mansfield Hosiery Mills, there was a four-year-old, and getting them in early is what it is all about.
“But the club can get a lot out of it too. There is a focus on grass roots but you still need money to make the world go around.
“And people spending money on the barbeque or in the bar is very important to the interests of the club.”
Indeed, Wanstead captain Arfan Akram believes it’s an exciting day for the club, as they entertain Brentwood in their SNEL Premier Division match.
Akram said: “It’s very exciting. The club’s hierarchy have worked very hard.
“Sky are supporting clubs during the Ashes tests and it gives the community the chance to see what we’re all about and the good work that we do.”
Hundreds of local cricket clubs will #RISE for England by holding Open Days over the five Investec Ashes Series weekends. Find out about your local club and their event at ecb.co.uk/clubopendays
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