Capital Kids Cricket unveils Indoor Cricket Competition at Lord’s


The London-based charity Capital Kids Cricket (CKC) unveiled details of the largest ever primary school indoor cricket competition in the UK at Lord’s on Friday (October 12). Among many guests’ children from 2 schools Elmhurst Primary from Newham and Essendine Primary from Westminster attended and played games alongside the main press launch.

Based on the hugely successful US Little League baseball format, it will bring together 150 schools across 19 London boroughs playing more than 250 matches over five months with the finals at Lords next 28 March 2018.

The winning school will receive the William Greaves Trophy, named after the cricket-loving writer and journalist who helped found the charity 30-years ago. Since then, more than 200,000 boys and girls at state schools and communities in London and neighbouring counties where cricket is not played have been given the opportunity to play the game.

The ambitious project has been made possible by the unique sponsorship of a California-based IT and Artificial Intelligence company, Moogsoft, whose British founder and CEO, Phil Tee, is a passionate cricket fan keen to give hundreds of London children the chance to play the game he has loved since childhood.

The company has offices in Kingston-on-Thames and there are plans to use its pioneering technology to engage more children by allowing them to see online live games and scores using social media.

Explaining the decision to support the competition, Mr Tee, who played cricket at school, club and university, said: “My interest in Capital Kids is really to support kids in the enjoyment of the best sport on planet earth. This game, along with the joy it brings, builds character, teaches restraint and focus, as well as being a fantastic platform to take on the adventures of life. And just like facing a nippy, aggressive opening bowler, the advice of ‘don’t duck and channel your aggression’ are as relevant in the boardroom as in the middle.”

He continued: “My passion for cricket began as a child, being used by my more talented elder brother as bowling practice! I suppose the moment that crystalized it was watching the immortal 1981 Headingley Ashes match where Botham came back from losing the captaincy to terrorise the Australians. Enthusiasm has always outstripped talent, but through school and University I was a keen cricketer, playing indoors in the winter and 2-3 times a week in the summer! I opened the batting for the University 2nd XI, captained the 3rd XI and once turned out for the 1st XI.

“Despite not playing very much anymore, I am a very keen fan and until I moved to the UK never ever missed the Lords test. I have exchanged the passion for competition for building businesses. Perhaps the discipline of captaincy and taking on the first ball of an innings prepares you well for the risk and reverses that are part of the journey in building high tech companies. Along the way I have created two public companies, had three trade sales and currently am busy building another high growth software business.”

CKC Chairman Haydn Turner said the UK-US partnership will allow thousands of children who can’t currently play cricket a ‘special opportunity’ to enjoy the game and learn new ‘life skills’ of teamwork, friendship, leadership and support while taking part in the world’s biggest primary school cricket league.

He said: “It is amazing that the inspiration for Cricket Little League is American, and that an important US company is enabling this London school initiative to be realised. Thousands of children will start their cricket journey at the finals at Lords perhaps finishing when they play for England at Lord’s.”

Among those CKC has helped when he was a schoolboy is Ravi Bopara, who scored 143 at Lords against the West Indies in 2009 and played 13 Tests and 120 one-day internationals for England.
Shahidul Alam Ratan, CEO of CKC said, “This is one of the first opportunities for children to take up cricket as a regular sport. Playing at the Lords also inspires many young people. We are very grateful to Moogsoft for supporting this competition. We are introducing some exciting features in this competition by using live scores in selected games, live streaming using social media and will be piloting commentary by the school children in Grand Final.

We are also hoping to run a pilot programme of AIOps (Artificial Intelligence operations) club in a primary school with the expertise from Moogsoft. I hope that this AIOps club will be very exciting for many kids and give some insight into AI.

Capital Kids Cricket is committed to work in state schools particularly in deprived areas of London. I am sure the partnership between Moogsoft and CKC will create more opportunities in cricket and other skills of many young people”.

Capital Kids Cricket is a cricket delivery charity work across inner London boroughs. Since 1989 CKC is providing cricketing opportunities to state schools, communities and clubs. Some of our cricket projects we are running key London hospitals children unites. The key projects CKC runs are:

• Cricket in schools
• Special Needs cricket
• Hospital School cricket programme
• Club developments
• Residential trips
• Competitions and festivals

The format of the Little League will be:

Teams: 8 a side with a minimum 3 girls playing every game.
Borough rounds: Borough round will start from November 2018 and finish by January 2019.
Borough semi-final rounds – There will be 4 zonal (West, East, North and South London) borough semi-final rounds with up to 6 borough winners will take place by the end of February 2018. 2 winners from each semi-final will progress to the grand final.
Grand Final – 8 teams will be invited to the grand final at Lords for the William Greaves Trophy. Date Thursday 28th March 2019. Time: 9:30am to 2:30pm.