WICKET wonders and brilliant batters from across Camden and Islington will be out in force next week when the British Land Kids Cricket League returns to action.
Primary schools from both boroughs will compete in their respective leagues at Haverstock School in Chalk Farm and at the Sobell Leisure Centre in Holloway.
The winners will then progress into the knockout stages against teams from across the capital, with eight sides going on to the grand finals at Lord’s on March 23.
Canonbury Primary School from Islington are, without doubt, the team to beat having reached the final for three years in a row, winning the prestigious title twice.
The league is organised by top charity Capital Kids Cricket, which many believe saved cricket for children across London.
The charity was originally formed in 1989 when Yorkshire-born cricket lovers William Greaves and Hayden Turner joined forces to stop politics and plunging budgets from wiping the sport off the PE curriculum in state schools.
Mr Greaves, who lives in Islington, said: “In the 1980s there was a political view that competitive sport was bad for children because there had to be losers, which was bad for their morale.
“It was a very short-lived attitude, but the trouble was when it disappeared there was a budget difficulty getting team sports back on the map because new money had to be found.
“Hayden and I believe very strongly that cricket is a vital educational tool.
“It teaches children how to be individuals in a team, how to respect leadership and honesty,” he added.
“The children are learning essential social values while playing a sport they enjoy.”
Former England and Middlesex bowler John Price was among the special guests at Westminster Town Hall last Wednesday to help Capital Kids Cricket celebrate their 20th anniversary.
There were also messages from some other high-profile supporters of the charity who couldn’t be there on the night.
These included former West Indies and Lancashire skipper Clive Lloyd and recent recruit Shane Warne.
There was also a special mention for sponsors British Land, who announced their ongoing partnership with Capital Kids Cricket.