With just under 70 days to go until the Cricket World Cup returns to the UK after a 20 year absence, The Surrey Cricket Foundation and Chance to Shine took to the hallowed turf of Thornton Heath Leisure Centre to organise a 6-a-side street cricket tournament to welcome in the new season.

Street cricket which uses a tape ball, originates from South Asia where players use electrical tape, which they cover a tennis ball in and add a seam, to give the ball more pace and swing, writes Harshil Trivedi . 

This has helped in the development of current fast bowlers at the international level from South Asia and legends including Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis credit part of their success to the tape-ball game which they played extensively in their youth.

With over 60 participants aged between seven and 15 from all over South London, there was a lot of bragging rights at stake as Thornton Heath Cricket Club, who train at the leisure centre every Saturday afternoon, fielded four teams. 

Over 500 runs were scored and plenty of 6’s and 4’s were hit as the tournament excited players and parents alike who watched every 20-ball game with intent. 

Thornton Heath CC’s aptly named ‘A-Team’ were victorious in the senior U15 leg while the Striking Stars from Sutton won the junior U15 leg where straight hitting took centre stage with over 15 sixes being struck over the umpire’s head during the afternoon. 

In the Under 11 leg, Thornton Heath’s Team Tigers took the top honours in a closely fought final match where only a run separated the sides. There was plenty of great potential on show which highlights the talent that could one day make it to the highest level.

Under 11 Player of the tournament Abdullah Arief who helped his team reach second place with the bat and was Man of the Match twice (pictured).

Chance to Shine are the largest cricket charity in the UK and have reached over 4million children through their Schools and Street programme which aims to engage children and help build communities through the #powerofcricket.

Surrey Cricket Foundation supports communities, schools and clubs by providing funding, knowledge, coaching and competitions in Surrey and South London. Contact for more information about how to sign up to Thornton Heath Cricket Club contact: harshil@thorntonheathcricket.co.uk