CRICKETING charities are launching a new scheme to get youngsters playing the game in Basildon.

The Lord’s Taverners and Cricket for Change will be in Basildon today to launch a new three-year Cricket for Change programme which will aim to get children from deprived areas playing the sport.

The project is being financed by the Taverners and will be run through Basidon Council and Everyone Active and will take a shorter form of the sport, called Street20, which can be played almost anywhere.

The format of Street20 cricket revolves around tape ball cricket, where a tennis ball is wrapped up in tape to make it react more like a proper cricket ball, which is very popular in Pakistan and South Africa.

Young players will also receive mentoring and training to help them become cricket coaches in the future.

Matthew Patten, the CEO of the Lord’s Taverners, said the sport needs to reach out to more children during a time of growth in participation which it is seeing currently.

Mr Patten said: “Cricket is currently riding a wave and participation in schools and clubs is on the up.

“But many young people don’t have access to the social and health benefits that regular involvement in competitive team sports like cricket can bring.

“The Lord’s Taverners and Cricket for Change are committed to changing this and by working together we will be able to reach and achieve much more for those young people.”

The official launch party will be taking place at the Northlands Park multi-use Sport Area, in Felmores Road, with matches running from 4pm to 6pm. Attendance is free.

After the launch more Street20 sessions will be organised around Basildon.