Cricket for refugees



For the second year running Charlbury Cricket Club played host on Wednesday afternoon to a group of refugees living in the Oxford area. They were largely teenagers from Afghanistan, a country which despite hardships has espoused cricket and become part of the worldwide cricketing community. And their enthusiasm and potential showed in a coaching session organised by two of our qualified coaches, Michael Geeson-Brown and Paul Quibell-Smith, along with Oxfordshire Cricket Board’s City Engagement Officer Shaz Khan. Making use of our bowling machine equipment, they were put through their paces in distance catching drills as well as batting to hit boundaries using the pull shot. Suitably warmed up, they rounded off the afternoon with a game on the artificial wicket, batting in pairs while some of the bowlers working up a fair lick of pace! We were not surprised to learn that several of our Afghan friends are already taking part in the game for clubs in Oxfordshire.

Our thanks go to CRAG, the Charlbury Refugee Action Group, including volunteers Jon Carpenter and Anegla Gwatkin who prepared a typical cricket tea, and Helena Cullen of Asylum Welcome. Fortunately, the sun shone and there were plenty of smiles and laughter from all involved. Undoubtedly, we would be delighted to welcome our refugee friends again in 2018.

David Horne, CCC vice chairman