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27th July 2020 Recreational

The Cricketer’s Lockdown Heroes: Nominations and public vote

The Cricketer announced Lockdown Heroes nominations as the cricket family is asked to vote for their favourite, with a number of nominations from County Durham being featured

The kindness, generosity and ingenuity of the cricket world is on display as The Cricketer unveils the long list of Lockdown Heroes nominations.

More than 350 entries were submitted during June, after The Cricketer asked readers to name the individuals who have gone above and beyond during the coronavirus crisis.

Across the five categories – Club Hero, Young Hero, Pro Hero, Fundraising Hero, and Social Media Hero – there were stories of commitment, compassion and creativity from all corners of England and Wales, from children as young as eight to club stalwarts in their 70s.

There have been tales of men and women who have almost single-handedly kept their clubs operational during lockdown, of members who have raised thousands of pounds to ensure their facilities can continue to be maintained, and of those who have kept followers entertained online.

Now, it is time for you to vote for those you feel most deserving of our Lockdown Heroes titles.

The ballot will be open until August 1, with the overall public vote accounting for half of the total score for each nominee. The remaining 50 per cent will come from a panel of judges assembled by The Cricketer.

Digital editor Sam Morshead said: “It’s been an inspiring and quite emotional process putting together these long lists for our Lockdown Heroes, and reading about the amazing work being put in by the cricket family around England and Wales.

“The spirit of cricket is often spoken about in vague terms, but the tales you will read within our Lockdown Heroes mini-site – telling the story of every nominee – epitomise everything that’s good about the grass roots sport in this country.

“I’d encourage everyone to spend a few minutes learning about an incredible range of good deeds and hard work, much of which will be essential to our sport – at an amateur level, at least – making it through these trying few months intact.

“Thank you to everyone who has sent in a nomination, and to all those nominees for their amazing contributions to the game over the past few months.”

Below are some nominations from Durham:

Pro Hero: Ned Eckersley

Durham’s Ned Eckersley was one of the thousands of people to put up their hands at the peak of the coronavirus outbreak by participating in the NHS Volunteer Responder scheme.

He volunteered at the Royal Free Hospital in north London for eight weeks, where his mother-in-law works for the Royal Free Charity in the massage therapy team.

Club Hero: Ian Palmer, Newton Aycliffe CC

Ian has kept the playing surface and square of Newton Aycliffe in its best ever condition and maintained essential equipment during this uncertain time.

In addition, he has liased with junior managers and senior players to recommence small group training sessions, fully risk assessed and with detailed procedures in place to ensure they are practical as well as safe.  Without Ian’s efforts, the 40-plus cricketers, both junior and senior, would not have returned to training and rekindled their enthusiasm for the game.  His nominator says: “Ian is our club hero and we are very lucky to have him at Newton Aycliffe”.

Fundraising Hero: Matthew Bowman

School sports coach Matthew came up with a unique way of donating money to a local hospice near his home in Billingham.

Combining his two-sporting loves, cricket and cycling, he rode the combined distance between Hartlepool Cricket Club and every away fixture during this season, and did the same for Under-12 side he coaches.

He took on the 387 miles during the month of June, and is closing in on his target of raising a pound for every completed mile, which will go to Alice House Hospice, who looked after his grandmother 20 years ago.

To read the nominees’ stories in each category and vote for your favourite, click here.

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