A new scheme, headed by West Indian sporting hero Viv Richards, will this year seek to take the game into deprived estates and schools across Britain. Over the next two months cricket workshops will be held in places from Newcastle to Hackney, via Leeds, Nottingham, Birmingham and Gloucester.
If no grassed area is available, they will take place in the streets. Local coaches will be trained to keep the sport going once the summer is over and disused sites will be converted into cricket pitches.
'It is all about getting cricket into parts of the country where it is not usually played. Cricket can really help people in the inner cities and make a difference to their lives,' said Tim Hodgson, a co-ordinator for Activate, a sports development group running the project on behalf of the England and Wales Cricket Board and funded by Channel 4.