Nottinghamshire’s walking cricketers secured the spoils in a countdown cricket competition at Lord’s, but those involved insist that the joy of the format remains in its wider social, physical and mental benefits.
Ten players from across the county triumphed over sides representing Sussex, Surrey and the MCC in a round-robin event at the Home of Cricket, taking top spot over the course of five eight-a-side contests, played out over 40-ball innings.
But Chris Revill, the county’s Festival and Competition Coach, is adamant that there is much more to walking cricket than the competitive spice it can provide.
“Did we enjoy winning a competition at Lord’s? Of course we did,” he admitted.
“But walking cricket is about more than that. It’s great for people's health, and there’s a huge social element to it as well.
“We get a real mixture of people at the sessions – from those who’ve played club cricket all their lives, to those who’ve never picked up a bat or may have fallen out of the game at some point.
“People can be a bit nervous at first, but once they’re into it there’s a great social element. It’s a chance to meet like-minded individuals of a similar age - something which can be hard to come by - and I know that a lot of the groups now organise things socially outside of their walking cricket sessions.”
Nottinghamshire’s first walking cricket cohort was established in Hucknall five years ago.
The slower-paced format has since expanded across the county, with groups now also operating in Rushcliffe, Mansfield, Worksop, Nottingham city centre and at Ellerslie CC.
“The adaptation was easy enough for me – in my last couple of years of club cricket, I was pretty much playing walking cricket anyway!” joked Revill.
“It can be quite comical when you see people forgetting that they’re not allowed to run any more – a ball popped in the air during one of our games at Lord’s and one of our players sprinted to take a great diving catch, only for the umpire to signal not out!
“But at the end of the day, it’s all about staying active and maintaining your physical and mental wellbeing.
“As a club, we look to facilitate opportunities for the walking cricket cohorts. They’re free to run their sessions as they see fit, but when chances come along to do something a little out of the ordinary, like this tournament at Lord’s, we’ll give them the help and support they need.”
Nottinghamshire's triumphant walking cricket squad featured Tim Durham, Gary Baker, Peter Raine, Jim Brough, Paul Sergent, Steve Turner, Sandeep Tandon, Del Turner, Richard Antcliffe and Chris Illsley.
Weekly walking cricket sessions, meanwhile, take place at the below locations, with each session priced at £3 (£2 at North Notts Arena).
For further details, please contact email@example.com.
1:00pm - 2.30pm
1:00pm - 2.30pm
North Notts Arena, Worksop
1:00pm - 2:30pm
Pass Move Grin Sports Centre, Bar Lane, Nottingham
12:00pm – 1:30pm
1:00pm - 3:00pm
1.00pm – 2.30pm