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

United In Cricket

The club gave a warm welcome on Wednesday afternoon to a group of 12 teenagers who joined some of our own boys and girls in a joyful celebration of cricket. The event was organised in association with Charlbury Refugee Action Group (CRAG) who give support to young asylum refugees from countries like Afghanisatn, Syria, Eritrea, Sudan and Botswana. They are based in Oxford and came to Charlbury by train with CRAG support worker Helena Cullen. With a warm-up game of football the teenagers got know each other and then split off into groups to practise batting, bowling and fielding drills with trained coaches. Then after a traditional pavilion tea, they rounded off the afternoon with a game of continuous cricket with plenty of big hitting and splendid catching skills. We are grateful to CRAG for asking us to host the event – and liven up a school holiday afternoon with children from many nationalities getting to know each other through sport. Our thanks also to Charlbury coaches Mike Geeson-Brown and Paul Quibell-Smith, and Oxfordshire Cricket Board’s Shaz Khan.