Kingstonian CC says surge in membership is thanks to Cricket World Cup

The Cricket World Cup has attracted more than a dozen new members to New Malden’s Kingstonian CC since it started on 31 May.

Club welfare officer Amer Iqbal said the club had been surprised by the surge in interest.

“We’ve been getting a lot more calls this year about playing and we’re not doing anything too different to previous years. We put that down to the World Cup,” he said.

Mr Iqbal added: “We’ve also had people asking if we’re showing games at our clubhouse, if we have any events going on, which is unusual. We didn’t think it would take off like that.”

IT consultant Maddy Lathar is one of those who have been inspired by the competition, which is being held in England.

Mr Lathar said: “I’ve been out of touch with cricket for about ten years and the World Cup has been a big inspirational moment for me.

“I saw those international players and I thought, why not me?”

Mr Lathar played his first match for Kingstonian on Sunday, taking a wicket.

He said: “I feel amazing. The ball was shaping, that’s good, I do still have something.

“I urge everyone to get out on the field and see what you can do.”

Like Mr Lathar, most of Kingstonian’s new faces are adults who have some cricket experience.

But Mr Iqbal said the club’s junior section had also been inspired.

The ECB gave Kingstonian 20 tickets to India v Australia at the Oval, 12 of which were for juniors.

“It was really nice because some of the kids had tried to get tickets and they couldn’t, some of their parents maybe couldn’t afford what the tickets were going for on the secondary market,” Mr Iqbal said.

“The fact that they got to go, and that it was free, was great. It will help those kids to be fans for life.”

Leah Bradley, 15, one of the junior players who attended the game, said: “It was a really good experience. The atmosphere of the crowd was just great.

“The amount of fours and sixes was amazing. I thought, ‘I want to do that!’”

Kingstonian CC runs nine adult teams and supports more than 100 junior players.  It welcomes men and women of all ages and experience levels.

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