PCA PRESS RELEASE
PCA England Masters and Greene King continue to support local cricket clubs across the country.
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The summer of 2019 saw the PCA England Masters, sponsored by Greene King, return to support grassroots clubs nationwide as cricket fever swept the nation with both an ICC Cricket World Cup and Specsavers Ashes Series taking place on home soil.
The strongest Masters side in years avoided defeat in all but one of their fixtures this summer, with some impressive victories over respected club sides coming along the way. More importantly, though, the total figure raised during the Masters’ partnership with Greene King, which stretches back to 2016, reached £728,000.
That means that the average sum raised at each fixture remains close to the £14,500 mark and, as always, every penny is reinvested back into the host club. Clubs can then use the money at their discretion, with many electing to invest in improved facilities, playing equipment and coaching.
It’s been fantastic to see a number of club sides reap the benefits of those funds down the years, and each of Monton Sports Club, Oxton CC, Bromley CC, Leigh Academy and Brentwood CC welcomed the Masters back in 2019, having hosted them in recent seasons.
A number of sides also entertained the England legends for the first time, including Bowdon CC, Fordhouses CC, Woolpit CC and Leigh CC.
The latter was the setting for the opening Masters event of the summer, with the rain failing to dampen spirits in Greater Manchester on the weekend of the Cricket World Cup Family Days. The ECB initiative engaged local communities with their cricket clubs nationwide to coincide with the World Cup taking place on home soil.
“It’s a fantastic event for us to be hosting here, a real privilege,” said Steve Bailey of Leigh Cricket Club.
“It was great to see so many families from the community come and support their local club,” added Masters player and Ashes winner Matthew Hoggard.
“I’ve seen first-hand the hugely important role that cricket clubs play in the community through taking part in the PCA England Masters. (The game at Leigh) was a great showcase of all the hard work that these clubs and their incredible volunteers do.”
As you might expect from a team of ex-England internationals, there have been a number of excellent individual performances on the pitch. A number of players are in the running to succeed Ali Brown as the Greene King PCA England Masters Player of the Summer at this year’s 50th NatWest PCA Awards on Wednesday 2 October.
Individual highlights include ex-Yorkshire man Craig White crashing 92 in just his second innings for the side against Oxton, and wicketkeeper Phil Mustard returning excellent figures of 3-31 after surprisingly being given an extended bowl in the same game.
Along with White, the 2019 Masters season saw debuts for the likes of Nick Compton, Luke Wright, Jonathan Trott and current Essex all-rounder Ravi Bopara in the last fixture of the season at Woolpit CC.
The summer of 2020 will see even more big names take to the field in PCA England Masters colours, with planning for multiple fixtures already underway.