Burridge Cricket Club raise over £1,000 in rapid time to help feed vulnerable South African families

A link started three decades ago has helped kind-hearted Burridge Cricket Club raise a four-figure sum in ultra-quick time to help feed vulnerable South African families.

Tuesday, 19th May 2020, 5:23 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th May 2020, 6:03 pm
South African families with some of the food hampers that have been donated through the initiative set up the Veterans Cricket Association of South Africa.

The Southern Premier League club’s players and members have donated over £1,000 to provide food hampers to cricket clubs in Cape Town who are not able to help their families during the pandemic-enforced lockdown.

Burridge have close links with Cape Town CC through Roger Moult, who played for the club in 1990 - scoring 908 Hampshire League runs and taking 31 wickets.

Since then, Burridge have brought over three more Cape Town players - Byron Van Der Merwe, Geoff Dods and Hilio De Abreu.

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Roger Moult scored over 900 runs for Burridge in the 1990 Hampshire League season

Burridge’s donations have been put toward the #feedacricketer initiative recently launched by the Veterans Cricket Association of South Africa (VCASA).

It provides a platform for cricket clubs throughout the world to support clubs and cricketers in the country, and Moult is the association’s current interim chairman.

‘We put out an appeal to the members and within a week to 10 days they had raised £1,000,’ said ex-Burridge chairman and current patron Clive Slaughter. ‘The money is still coming in as well.

‘That will buy around 60 hampers which will last a South African about a month.

Former Burridge CC chairman Clive Slaughter

‘It’s not that there’s a food shortage in South Africa, it’s that during lockdown families haven’t got any way to earn any money.

‘Our members have been brilliant. It’s not a good time for cricket in England, but everyone is always keen to support where we can, and there’s a big need in South Africa.’

Burridge and Middlesex-based Stanmore CC - a club with another strong South African connection - have between them donated over 100 hampers which have been delivered to Langa CC, Mfuleni CC and Vredenburg-Saldanha CC. Phillipi CC and Bishop Lavis CC were due to receive hampers this week.

The #feedacricketer initiative was recently launched by the Veterans Cricket Association of South Africa (VCASA). It provides a platform for cricket clubs throughout the world to support clubs and cricketers in South Africa.

Moult explained: ‘The service is currently available in the Western Cape, but we will soon be offering it to clubs in Gauteng. The initiative relies on cricket clubs to support each other during these challenging times.’

Moult admits that all sports and sports clubs are finding it difficult to survive in the current environment, but adds: ‘With the lockdown and people not working, the basic need for food and water is not available.’

VCASA is appealing to clubs all over the world to download the ‘Local is Lekker’ App - ‘Lekker’ is a South African slang word meaning superb - select a hamper and a club you wish to support, and place your order.

Meanwhile, Slaughter said Burridge members are doing their best to engage with each other at a time when cricket remains suspended in the UK.

‘Our facilities remain closed but there’s still a lot going on - quiz nights, several WhatsApp groups,’ he remarked.

‘Those groups have been very active with different ideas and projects for the future to boost the club’s funds back up.

‘We also run a 200 Club where members pay £3 and half the money goes out in prizes and the other half goes to the club.

‘Before lockdown we had around 160 members, now we have 235 tickets sold for the next draw. That’s how well the members have been supporting the club.

‘Even 60 or 70 extra people a month paying £3 is still more money coming into the club to pay insurance and other bills.’

Burridge are one of the bigger clubs in the region with four men’s teams, a ladies XI and a colts section boasting around 100 players.

They have never won the Southern Premier League’s top flight, but were runners-up in both 2016 and 2018.

Slaughter, like everyone in the grassroots cricketing community, is hoping and praying lockdown restrictions will be eased sufficiently in time for a few games in 2020.

‘I don’t think we’re going to get any competitive cricket this year, but I’m still hoping we can get some cricket in the latter part of the summer,’ he said.

On players possibly losing interest and drifting away from the sport, he added: ‘‘That’s part and parcel of what the club have been doing, trying to keep members in contact with each other and to keep everyone’s spirits up.’