This summer has regularly been talked about as one which could be pivotal in attracting a new generation of fans to cricket.
An England team playing a fearless, aggressive brand of cricket are bidding to win the ICC Cricket World Cup on home soil, before attention turns to the latest chapter in the greatest and most enduring rivalry of them all, as Australia visit for an Ashes series.
But to make sure that the next generation of cricketers and cricket fans are swept up in the excitement of the summer, the game must reach out into schools and communities; and it is this mission which inspires National Cricket Week each year.
The long-running initiative is organised by Chance to Shine, the charity which provides cricket-based activities in schools.
Schools across the country, including 45 in Nottinghamshire, will take part in cricket activities or lessons themed around the sport.
And Nottinghamshire has become a national leader in taking the sport to new audiences.
In total, 324 teachers in the County have signed up to access Chance to Shine resources, which bring numeracy and literacy lessons to life through cricket.
Meanwhile, Trent Bridge deliver cricket activities in 153 primary schools across the county – 68 of which take advantage of a full year of sports-themed activities.
“National Cricket Week provides a great opportunity for schools to reap the benefits that involving cricket in the curriculum has to offer,” said Stephen Campbell, Nottinghamshire’s Cricket Development Officer for Young People and Schools.
“For us, though, spreading the power of the sport is a year-round project.
“We’re proud to lead the way in terms of attracting teachers to the Chance to Shine resources portal, and to deliver programmes in so many schools across the county ourselves.
“Involving cricket more closely at the heart of the curriculum not only helps to protect the future of the sport, it provides an opportunity for children who may feel detached from education to really engage with school life again.
“And aside from the obvious physical benefits of playing, cricket teaches teamwork, leadership, perseverance and fair play – skills which these young people will make use of for the rest of their lives.”
The Nottinghamshire Cricket Board have been leaving no stone unturned to spread opportunities for children to get involved with cricket.
All Stars Cricket sessions bring fun cricket-based activities to 5 to 8-year-olds at clubs countywide, with over 1,000 children in Nottinghamshire getting involved this year.
Meanwhile, fast-paced Street Cricket activities take the sport into the heart of the city, Wicketz hubs allow young people between 11 and 15 to enjoy social cricket and complete life skill workshops and the Trent Bridge Classroom project brings over 800 children to the ground for cricket coaching and challenges.
To find out more about cricket activities for children, visit the Notts Cricket Board website.