Half a cen­tury ago cricket was played in state schools to an ex­tent al­most in­com­pre­hen­si­ble to­day

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Cricket World Cup 2019 -

later ex­ams and a later sum­mer hol­i­day, cre­at­ing a proper cricket term. It could also seek to in­cen­tivise staff who vol­un­teered to su­per­vise games. Min­is­ters should en­cour­age schools to form re­la­tion­ships with lo­cal clubs, with a view to shar­ing fa­cil­i­ties, and with lo­cal in­de­pen­dent schools, some of whom do lit­tle to merit their char­i­ta­ble sta­tus: in some places this al­ready hap­pens. The ef­fects of such ini­tia­tives should be con­sid­er­able, not least among chil­dren in our black and Asian com­mu­ni­ties.

Some will re­mem­ber the Haringey Cricket Col­lege, which al­most 40 years ago ar­ranged train­ing and games for pre­dom­i­nantly black boys in a de­prived part of north London, pro­duc­ing in the process the oc­ca­sional great player, no­tably the Mid­dle­sex and Eng­land fast bowler Nor­man Cowans.

All over our cities boys and young men are stab­bing each other to death as they get sucked into a poi­sonous cul­ture of gangs and drugs. Could they not be play­ing cricket in­stead?

The chances of young peo­ple whose par­ents can­not af­ford to send them to an in­de­pen­dent school end­ing up as top-level crick­eters re­main at the mercy of the Gov­ern­ment, be­cause the Gov­ern­ment con­trols the schools they at­tend. It does not take enor­mous brains to rec­tify the prob­lems the Sut­ton Trust and the SMC have iden­ti­fied, just some money – which could be pri­vately raised – or­gan­i­sa­tional abil­ity and po­lit­i­cal will. And all that those things re­quire are lead­er­ship.

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