Cricketers from De Montfort University Leicester are jetting out to Barbados to show eager youngsters an exciting new version of the sport.
With the West Indies recently crowned this year's ICC World Twenty20 champions - naming several Barbadians among the squad - cricket fever throughout the country is widespread.
And now players from DMU's cricket club are flying out to the Caribbean island to visit children in local schools, showing them a compact, fast form of the sport known as Cage Cricket.
The visit was launched at an event held at the Watershed - DMU's new facility for De Montfort Students' Union (DSU) sports teams and societies - where members of the cricket club joined founders of Cage Cricket and the Deputy High Commissioner of Barbados.
James Fitzgerald, chairman of DMU Cricket, said the opportunity - organised through DMU's pioneering international project #DMUglobal - was a new experience for many on the side.
He said: "None of us have been to Barbados before and it doesn't get much better than that; such a beautiful place, such a new culture to enjoy and get inspired by.
"But equally, we'll be going into local school and showing them Cage Cricket, which really makes cricket accessible and engages young players. It's quick and easy to set up I think many of the lads have never done this kind of work before so it's something we're really looking forward to sharing."
Cage Cricket is a form of the sport played in an enclosed space, with adapted balls, bats and stumps, between six people. The simplicity of the rules makes it easy to teach but the fundamental skills remain the same as a full sized cricket match
Trevor McArdle, co-founder of the sport, was at the launch event. He said: "Cricket needs a lot of time, space and money. Even Twenty20 needs that, it's just a shorter version.
"With Cage Cricket, each player faces every other in every position at least once. It's fast and exciting and, since you all have to umpire, it introduces leadership and decision making skills.
"We're using it in inner city situations, in prisons, we're working with young offenders and the Prince's Trust. It's about making cricket exciting and accessible to as many people as possible."
The team will be heading abroad for a week in June and Alphea Wiggins, Barbados Deputy High Commissioner, gave the boys advice on some of the local highlights to catch.
She said: "It's great to be getting children involved in cricket. This form of the sport is exciting and fast and we have a real passion for it in Barbados."
Posted on Monday 18th April 2016