Friends and families have a chance to make cricket history with new casual play scheme

From left: Blickling Estate active outdoor development co-ordinator Chloe Brown, Norfolk Cricket Boa

From left: Blickling Estate active outdoor development co-ordinator Chloe Brown, Norfolk Cricket Board (NCB) development director Kieron Tuck, and Blickling countryside manager Stuart Banks with some of the cricket sets available at the estate as part of a NCB schemePhoto: NORFOLK CRICKET BOARD - Credit: Archant

A new initiative from the Norfolk Cricket Board (NCB) is giving families and groups of friends the chance to play the game at three of the county's most iconic settings.

As part of a drive to make cricket easy to access and safe to play, the organisation, which aims to develop cricket opportunities for all ages across the county, is working with the Blickling Estate, Eaton Park, Norwich, and the Glide Surf School, near Cromer Pier, to offer people the chance to hire a softball cricket set to enhance their day out.

As one of the venues, the Blickling Estate will be welcoming cricket back for the first time in nearly 150 years.

The first recorded game at the National Trust stately home was in 1787, but, after 1871, no further records exist of matches, so the NCB scheme plans to give cricket fans a chance to make some history.

Historic Eaton Park, in Norwich, is now in its second year of the project, with sets available from the pitch and putt kiosk, while the Glide Surf School, on the east promenade, near Cromer Pier, is a new option for this year.

The casual play sets available at all three venues are quality New Balance kits, with plastic stumps, rubber balls and light plastic bats.

They can be hired with a fully refundable deposit at all three locations.

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Those taking part can also fill in a feedback questionnaire, which will enter them into a prize draw to win a set of kit to take home.

NCB cricket development director Kieron Tuck said: 'It has been exciting to work on an innovative and ground-breaking participation project to offer people the chance to play cricket at some of the most well-known locations in the county; we hope that families and friends will want to hire these excellent sets for an hour or so to add something really fun and special to their day out.'

He added: 'We'd like to thank the three venues involved for their engagement with this. I think they have realised that having this available adds more to their own visitor experience and we hope that this will prove successful for all parties.'

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