Leyton Hub Master class


East London has long been renowned for being a hotbed of cricketing talent with the likes of Graham Gooch, Nasser Hussain, Ravi Bopara, and more recently Dan Lawrence and Feroze Khushi learning their skills in the boroughs, such as Newham, Redbridge, Havering, Barking & Dagenham and Waltham Forest.

The next crop of talented young boys and girls in the area are honing their skills in the Leyton Hub; in collaboration with the ECB and London Borough of Waltham Forest the newly refurbished cricket facility situated adjacent to the home ground of Essex’s inaugural first-class fixture against Leicestershire in 1894.

One of Leyton’s famous sons, Graham Gooch recently visited the Hub to formally launch the East London Cricket Performance programme for boys and girls partnership funding by Essex Cricket Foundation on a 3-year agreement, the funding is in place to fill the cost gap to ensure local talented players are not hampered on their own cricket development, the programme is fully funded as well as utilising quality local coaches and providing state of the art cricket equipment, the sessions also include master class workshops, most recently being run by Nasser Hussain, Ravi Bopara and Dr Zaf Iqbal. 

As well as formally launching the partnership, Graham Gooch also gave a batting masterclass to players in the East London Development Programme and Essex Cricket Academy. Gooch was joined by Head Coach Anthony McGrath and First Team players Feroze Khushi and Robin Das for a session all built around decision-making, scenario play and developing batting techniques.

Graham Gooch said: “It’s amazing to launch the East London Cricket Performance programme. It’s vital that cricket in East London gets the funding it’s required to help both discover and develop the amazing cricket talent the boroughs hold. After speaking and working with some of the players from both the Essex Cricket Academy and the East London Development Programme it’s clear to see that the future is very bright and I’m excited to help play a part in these youngsters’ cricketing journeys.”

Arfan Akram, Essex Cricket’s East London Development Manager, added: “The passion and love for cricket in East London is simply inspiring. The data shows that East London historically and continues to produce very talented players, the funding is paramount in ensuring that those very talented players who at current may not be on the age group programme have the time to develop and grow with quality coaching, quality equipment and quality coaching.

“The programme is a direct pathway into the county and regularly attended by our head scout. In its infinity, the programme has already produced so many talented boys and girls players on their cricketing journey and collaborating with SACA is another fantastic opportunity to continue to support by providing opportunities.”

The sessions are part of an extensive schedule of events which take place daily within the Leyton Hub for boys and girls of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. 

Essex Cricket’s new partnership with the South Asian Cricket Academy (SACA) will also be based in Leyton to help create further opportunities through elite performance programmes for aspiring British South Asian cricketers. 

For further information on the partnership, visit: http://essexcricket.org.uk/2023/02/22/essex-cricket-partner-with-saca/