Former England cricketer Matt Prior visited the Charles Dickens Activity Centre in Portsmouth to play street cricket with local children.
The event was part of Yorkshire Tea National Cricket Week, organised by children’s charity Chance to Shine, with cricket-themed activities taking place in 1,500 schools and community projects across the country.
As England battle it out in the ICC Cricket World Cup, Prior was giving battling and fielding tips to the next generation of players and fans.
He took part in a game of street cricket, an accessible and inclusive form of the game, before taking questions from the youngsters in a wide-ranging Q&A.
Prior said: ‘It was amazing and I’ve absolutely loved coming to Portsmouth and being part of Yorkshire Tea National Cricket Week.
‘I’ve seen lots of kids playing a sport they wouldn’t get to play if it wasn’t for Chance to Shine.
‘I was really impressed by their enthusiasm and engagement, especially during the Q&A where we discussed my career, upbringing and also
some of the challenges I’ve faced in my life.
‘My advice to them was to try as many sports as possible and also to dream big, have big hopes and aspirations.
‘Don’t ever let anyone tell you that it can’t happen as I’m living proof that it can.’
Chance to Shine runs the inner-city Street cricket initiative in Portsmouth and Havant and in other major cities across England.
The charity works in partnership with Hampshire Cricket Board and Active Communities Network in the Portsmouth area to deliver free weekly street cricket sessions for children and young people aged eight to 24.
Eight-year old Vincent had not played cricket before and described the session with Prior as ‘mind-blowing’.
He said: ‘It was really exciting to have Matt Prior here. It was such fun, I loved batting and will definitely be coming again!”