CRICKET: Tremendous inspiration

Credit to Ashington Cricket Club for organising an inspirational summer holiday training camp for budding young cricketers.

It was well organised with plenty to keep the youngsters, some of them just five or six-years-old, fully occupied every second of the day, with their safety always put to the forefront by the coaching team.

As a fantastic bonus, the youngsters had all the inspiration they need to make it to the top thanks to visits from four internationals to give them tips on how to improve their game.

None other than Ashington’s brothers Steven and Ben Harmison, along with current England Ashes squad member Mark Wood, all turned up at the summer camp at the club’s Langwell Crescent ground, with the biggest surprise of all being the appearance of one of the all-time legends of the English game, Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff.

Freddie had been in town filming at Ashington FC’s friendly match against Preston North End with a documentary crew following him around the country, frying fish and chips from his mobile van.

Steve, Ben, Mark and Freddie all gave of their time to work with the young players, which was tremendous to see.

All four took part in impromptu coaching sessions with the youngsters and memorably autographed their cricket bats.

That was a wonderful bonus and capped off a tremendous experience for the young players.

As someone whose three grandsons Jack, Harry and Alfie attended the camp, I would like to say a huge thank you to Adam Nichol and his fellow coaches for the way they organised and ran the event. It was terrific and an inspiration, I am sure, to the many youngsters who attended.

Who knows, one or more of them might follow their fellow Ashingtonians into the England squad one day.

Ian Leech