PROFESSIONAL CRICKETERS' TRUST PRESS RELEASE
Rikki Clarke aims to give something back as he supports players’ charity in 2021.
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Rikki Clarke has labelled his decision to support the Professional Cricketers’ Trust a “no-brainer” as he prepares to give something back to the players’ charity during his upcoming Testimonial Year in 2021.
Clarke, 39, has chosen to support the Trust after being formally recognised by boyhood club Surrey when he was awarded a Testimonial for 2021 in late July.
The veteran all-rounder, who made his First-Class debut back in 2002 and has gone on to make over 650 professional appearances in all formats for Surrey, Derbyshire, Warwickshire and England, knows better than most how the Trust can support professional cricketers who have fallen on hard times.
“The Trust has been there for me throughout my career. Obviously it’s something that’s close to home when you’re a professional cricketer, and I’ve built a great relationship with the guys who work there over the years.
“You only have to look at some of the players I’ve played with and against who have fallen on hard times to realise why doing my little bit to support the Trust is a no-brainer for me. I just want to give something back.
“I’ve donated to the Trust many times – including during the summer’s #Charity10for10 challenge – and I’ve always been meaning to do one of the bigger fundraising challenges.
“For me, it was just a case of wanting to offer a bit of money from my Testimonial Year to the Trust because they do such a wonderful job and long may it continue.”
Clarke’s association with Surrey started at the age of nine and he admits that being awarded a Testimonial by his club is a “privilege”. When setting out his plans for 2021, he has also been able to call upon the advice of a pair of club legends who recently enjoyed their own Testimonial Years.
“Surrey has been part of my life for many years and they’re almost like my family. Not many people get the opportunity so I feel very honoured and overwhelmed. It’s a privilege that the members and supporters agreed that it was time for me to have a Testimonial.
“The first thing I did when I was awarded the Testimonial was to get on the phone and pick the brains of Jade (Dernbach) and Bats (Gareth Batty). They’ve been good mates of mine for years so it’s always handy to have those guys on hand and they’ve definitely helped me so far.”
Along with the Trust, Rikki has nominated Cure Leukaemia to be one of his Testimonial Year charities. The Birmingham-based organisation allows patients with blood cancer access to effective and potentially life-saving new treatments when they become available.
“Professor Charlie Craddock (founder of Cure Leukaemia) does an amazing job up at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. When I was at Warwickshire, there was a good relationship with Cure Leukaemia and the players would often go up to the hospital to see the patients, listen to their stories and put a smile on their faces during tough times.
“It’s not nice to see people suffering like that and you just want to do something to give back. I’ve helped out at the charity’s events in the past and I know the CEO James McLaughlin really well, and just wanted to give something back to them and help them out as best as I can.”