Diverse groups will get more opportunities to play cricket on Merseyside after a £35 million Government investment for the grassroots game.

The funding, which Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced to get more young people active by 2030, has been welcomed in the region.

It will be used to extend England and Wales Cricket Board’s school programmes for primary and secondary students.

It aims to get 900,000 young people playing cricket over the next five years, with 80,000 of these being children with special educational needs.

Jez Clein, from Liverpool CC and a local umpire, said: “I would hope Liverpool’s hat would be in the ring when they come to decide how to divide it up.

“It’s going to be aimed at diverse communities.

“I believe the Liverpool Cricket Development Officer who works for the Lancashire Cricket Foundation is going to be asking for a cut but as yet we don’t know.”

There are plans for 16 new cricket domes to be built for the Women’s T20 World Cup in 2026.

John Williams, Chair of the Liverpool Competition Junior League, is hopeful a dome may be created in Liverpool.

He said: “It will have some impact if that money is directed to a number of towns and cities.

“It talks about 16 domes being created. It’s likely that a dome might be created in Liverpool.

“It is overall very hard to say whether it will impact grassroots cricket (in Liverpool)”

Opportunities for children with special educational needs and minorities

The fund has been set up with one goal to boost participation of children with special educational needs.

Jon Deane, schoolteacher at St. Hilda’s CE High School, said: “Students with special educational needs is and pupil premium is always lower than their peers.

“It is the aim of my school to increase these numbers as much as possible.”

Mr Deane highlighted the problem with engaging students in sport in the modern world.

He said: “I believe that society has changed, and children now seek information quicker with poorer concentration, so engaging them in what is a slower-paced game can be challenging.”

John Williams added: “It is a priority (getting kids with special educational needs into cricket).

“There are a number of individuals playing that have special needs.

“The county works very hard. The cricket foundation in Lancashire works very hard for these youngsters.”

£14 million of the government fund will be used for children with special needs and for children of African and Caribbean heritage.

Jez Clein added: “On the back of having an Afghan pro, (we have) started working with the Afghan refugees who had been placed locally.

“We usually have about 15 to 20 of them with us at any one time.”

(Library image for display purposes only, courtesy of Alamy Image licence)