ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Winners Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali visited their boyhood clubs to help inspire local kids to say ‘cricket is a game for me’ as the famous trophy embarks on a nationwide winners’ tour this month.
As part of a two-day double-header, Woakes visited Aston Manor Cricket Club on Tuesday whilst Ali returned to Moseley Ashfield on Wednesday.
"Cricket clubs like this at the grassroots level are really important."
Both all-rounders were at their former clubs to celebrate a remarkable year of cricket with new fans and former teammates. As part of his visit, both players chatted with junior club members and All Stars children, took part in a Q&A, and posed for photos with the local community.
“I remember being here as a six-year-old mainly knocking around on the bowling green, not being allowed to go on and getting told off,” said Woakes.
“My brothers played here so watching them was a big part of growing up and being a part of this cricket club.
“Cricket clubs like this at the grassroots level are really important and I think if you asked all of the World Cup-winning team they’ll all say the same thing.
“They all started at a club where you had volunteers and coaches putting in hard yards to get you to enjoy the game and the big part of me coming here was the enjoyment factor. Playing with friends, socialising and the cricket was a bit of an added bonus and that’s where I started.”
World Cup heroes Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer and Eoin Morgan have also joined the tour this month as the trophy visits some of the clubs, schools and cricket communities that helped develop the England players from grassroots stars to World Cup winners.
Players will be involved in coaching All Stars Cricket sessions, taking part in Q&As, and meeting club members and newcomers to the sport.
Speaking about the tour, winning captain Eoin Morgan said: “It was a dream come true to the lift the World Cup trophy in July and it is great to have the opportunity to share that moment with as many fans as possible. Joining the fans at The Oval the day after the final was incredible and this tour will allow the players to continue the celebrations.
“It is important we make the most of the positivity around cricket to encourage more people to play the game. As a team, we were inspired by the videos of support and celebration we saw across social media. We want this tour to inspire future England cricketers from the clubs we’ll be visiting and who knows, they might even lift the World Cup themselves one day.”
The trophy is on a 15-stop nationwide tour designed to visit thousands of fans, with the aim to inspire the next generation of cricketers as an extension of ECB’s strategy, Inspiring Generations.
Chief Executive Officer of ECB, Tom Harrison added: “We’re excited to be able to use the World Cup trophy to inspire kids across the country that wanted to pick up a bat and ball after watching the dramatic final at Lord’s.
“To win a World Cup on home soil is an incredible achievement and we’re determined to take advantage of the cricket buzz that has been generated as a result of this triumph.”
WATCH: Chris Woakes returns to Aston Manor
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