Michael Vaughan on why schools should ‘seize September’ for cricket

With domestic cricket not yet on the horizon, the former England captain Michael Vaughan was making the best of it in his back garden, with a wheelie bin as his wicket and a stick of Yorkshire rhubarb as a bat.

Michael Vaughan

It served him for a few overs, he said, before the bat snapped in half and was turned into a pie.

The launch of National Cricket Week, sponsored by Yorkshire Tea, was supposed to have been a public event, but Vaughan, who is one of its advocates, said the requirement to improvise “might just bring out the best in everyone”.

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Playground sessions for the annual event have been replaced by videos on playing techniques and educational spin-offs, with fellow cricketers Mark Wood and Heather Knight also among the participants.

Vaughan, who turned out for Yorkshire for 16 years from 1993, has called repeatedly for the sport to be re-started and told The Yorkshire Post that in its absence schools should “seize September” as an opportunity to introduce it to pupils who were unlikely to be able to play football or rugby.

He also wants to see local cricket clubs sharing with their facilities with neighbourhood schools lacking equipment and green spaces of their own.

“I’ve said for years that cricket should be on the curriculum,” he said. “It teaches communication skills,
geography, arithmetic and pretty much everything that you’d want your kids to be studying. Maybe this year could be the start.”

But he said that in the absence of organised local matches, the sport was losing out to golf.

“Over the last few weeks, two courses where I’m a member have seen a real uplift in membership – and a lot of them are people who would have been playing cricket but have now turned to golf.

“Cricket is going to have to be careful it doesn’t lose these people. It’s not as it we were a sport with masses of people wanting to play. I wish we were.”

Yet the game was perfectly placed for keeping the recommended 2m apart, he added.

“You can easily socially distance – you can stand on the outfield with a sanitiser in your pocket, and every time you touch the ball you can sanitise your hands.”

National Cricket Week is organised by the charity Chance to Shine, whose chief executive, Laura Cordingley, said: “Every year, thousands of children pick up a bat and a ball to get active. Despite the obvious challenges, there is no reason why this year should be any different.”

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