I live in Manchester and play for my local club, Prestwich CC as well as my school, the Manchester Grammar School. I have enjoyed some great times playing cricket all over the North West and further afield.
Very recently I have set up CriKIT which is a new, registered, non-profit making organisation. The simple idea for this possible venture is to gather used, redundant cricket equipment and clothing from clubs and schools within the Greater Manchester area to then ship over to South Africa to be distributed where best needed.
The idea behind this new venture initially stemmed from a school cricket tour to Cape Town, South Africa early in 2017 which I was fortunate enough to be a part of.
As part of the tour, we played against a representative side from the Gary Kirsten Cricket Foundation – an organisation dedicated to providing opportunities through cricket for some of the most disadvantaged children in the city. The team were from a township called Khayelitsha, one of the poorest and under-developed areas of Cape Town made up generally of makeshift dwellings. They were very excited about playing a game on a good wicket and wearing full kit- such things we take for granted.
I couldn’t help noticing that whilst all our players were fortunate enough to have their own bags with at least one bat and several pieces of spare equipment, the Foundation side had to share bats and sets of pads etc between the whole team.
This material disadvantage did not have any affect on the passion and excitement of the players and I have not seen a group of players with such energy and desire in my entire, albeit short, cricketing career.
After further reflection on what was one of the most memorable games I have been a part of, I felt compelled to try and make a contribution to addressing this imbalance.