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Hungarian cricket committed to grassroots development with a little help from celebrity friends

Thu, Nov 22, 2012 4:36 PM


Hungarian cricket committed to grassroots development with a little help from celebrity friends
After becoming a member of the ICC back in June of this year, Hungary have been making great strides in developing cricket, highlighted last weekend at its 'cricket celebrity event'.

Four guest celebrities including Attila Varkonyi, Juventus Radio and Sport TV personality; Laszlo Lovasz, Petofi Radio 'drive time' presenter and his son Matyas aged 7; Janos Banfi, ex-Hungarian football team captain and Daniel Rev from Eurosport joined a number of active coaches to take part in a skills session.

The session consisted of basic skills of hitting and bowling a ball, with two coaches supporting each guest. Then a few deliveries of a 'match' were demonstrated before getting the guests to play as well. The coaches were rotated so that all were involved at various times. The camera crew from Duna TV shot a small feature on it, which resulted in brilliant coverage across Hungarian television, everyone got involved with the interviews and the spirit of the game was evident to see.

Andrew Leckonby, Cricket Development Director at the Hungarian Cricket Association (HCA) who is leading on the projects, thinks it is vital to develop youth cricket in order to create awareness in a non-cricketing culture.

"Engaging Hungarians - especially children - in actually playing cricket is the only way forward. Cricket is without doubt a game that is unbelievably fun and easy to understand. Hitting 3-4 balls and scoring a couple of runs is all that a child needs to do to grasp, and love, the main concept of the game. It is quick and easy to engage with," said Leckonby.

There are many things in the pipeline in Hungarian cricket over the next year. "We have done a lot of 'introduction to cricket' type days in various ways, but this is the first time we had the breakthrough to involve celebrities to increase exposure. We are planning a broader event similar to this one in early Spring, ideally outdoors, and then also a much broader 'Cricket Festival' in June where we hope to reap the benefits of the extra exposure, interest and awareness in cricket, and give lots more Hungarians the chance to actually play the game," said Leckonby.

ICC Europe are delighted with the progress being made in Hungary and the HCA's commitment to bottom up Grassroots development and in line with ICC Europe's strategy to encourage grassroots development.

For more information visit the Hungarian cricket website.



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