CRICKET clubs in the town are bracing themselves for a surge in interest following England’s World Cup win.

England defeated New Zealand in thrilling fashion at Lord’s on Sunday, captivating the crowd and millions watching on television with a last-ball victory.

Officials at Grappenhall, Warrington and Appleton cricket clubs say a warm welcome awaits anybody feeling inspired and wanting to return to the sport or give it a try for the first time.

“Sunday’s match was a great advert for the sport and a wonderful climax to all the hard work that the England team have put in since the last World Cup,” said Rob Batey, vice-chairman at Warrington Cricket Club.

> How Warrington sports stars reacted to England's win

“I hope that the result will prove to be the catalyst for a new wave of cricketing interest around all cricket clubs.

“The whole of the country has seen a sad decline in the number of players over the last few years (Warrington are in a very fortunate position and select company having four competitive Saturday senior sides).

“Sunday’s match will quite possibly prove to be a once-in-a-lifetime event and I can only hope that it encourages cricketers of all abilities to get down to their local cricket club and spend their Saturday playing what I believe to be the best sport in the world.

“While there are some great clubs around the area, we would be delighted to welcome as many new players as possible as we have the most idyllic setting around Warrington to spend a Saturday.

“Warrington Cricket Club, along with many other clubs in Cheshire, run an ECB funded ‘All Stars’ initiative that provides very young kids (four to six-year-olds) with the opportunity to come and whack a ball around a la Ben Stokes and we’d love to see an influx of more and more children onto that scheme.

“We have also already received messages from senior players who had packed their kit bag into the loft, swearing never to use it again.

“But the incredible scenes at Lord’s has convinced them to give it another go.

“We would be delighted to welcome anyone who wishes to give cricket a go for the first time too, senior or junior, at any stage during the season.

Warrington Guardian:

Warrington Guardian:

A highlight of the month for Warrington Cricket Club has been hosting two matches against Crusaders Cricket Australia touring squad (more details below)

“We should all feel particularly fortunate to have an incredible team to support in the current England team, and let’s not forget Lancashire and the amazing facilities at Old Trafford locally.

“With the Ashes starting in a few weeks too, wouldn’t it be a great summer to get back into cricket or start it for the first time?

“If you do want to play, senior training nights are on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Warrington Cricket Club (members of Warrington Sports Club) with junior training on Friday nights.”

Paul Tyerman, Grappenhall Cricket Club secretary, said: “The World Cup final was fantastic, what a sporting event.

“Anyone who watched and wasn’t interested in cricket before cannot fail to have been entertained by what they saw, true sporting theatre.

“The England and Wales Cricket Board have worked hard to promote this cricket world cup over the last few months, aimed at increasing participation in the sport across the country, with local clubs such as ours getting involved and helping to increase the sports profile.

“The decision by Sky and the ECB to also show the final on free to air TV will have had a massive impact on the sport.

“People right across the country were able to watch the match that wouldn’t have done before and millions more were streaming and getting updates online.

“That England have won the World Cup can only serve to increase the profile and popularity of the sport among the younger generation who may previously have not yet been aware or be interested in cricket.

“The Cheshire Cricket Board do a lot of good work going into local schools to increase awareness and the profile of the game, spending time coaching the youngsters and providing free taster sessions, but to be able to talk about English cricket as the home of the world champions will only help with generating more engagement and interest.

“The fact that Sunday’s final is being heralded by many as the best game of one-day cricket ever seen is the icing on the cake.

“This is a great time for cricket in this country, winning the World Cup for the first time and on home soil, in the best game ever seen, along with a new set of marketable sportsmen like Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer, cricket has the opportunity to go from strength to strength in this country.

“To top this off we still have a home Ashes series to come in the next few weeks, and if England can win that this will become arguably the best summer for English sport in living memory.

“The ECB, Cheshire Cricket Board and local clubs like ourselves have a great opportunity to cement cricket as a sport of choice for a whole new generation of young fans. That will be the true legacy from this summer.”

Antony Hurst, Appleton Cricket Club chairman echoed some of those thoughts, saying: “What a game of cricket that was!

"We couldn’t have wished for a better advert for the game and it was great that so many young people will have had the opportunity to watch it on free-to-air TV.

“We are hoping that more people, young and old, male and female, will be inspired by what they’ve seen to take up the game.

"Our juniors train on Thursday night and it will be interesting to see what the effect will be.”

Appleton came agonisingly close to their first win of the 2019 season but lost with just two balls to spare at Bredbury St Marks at the weekend.

A half-century for Ian MacAuley helped the visitors post 174-6.

Despite five wickets for Amir Aslam, Bredbury squeaked home with two wickets to spare thanks to 63 from Chris Wood.

The second XI slipped toward the relegation zone in Division B West after losing at home to league leaders Chester Boughton Hall 3A.

Some accurate bowling from Chester meant that Appleton could only post 144-7 from their 45 overs.

Half centuries from Joe Killoran and Reg Wyatt helped Chester reach their target for the loss of just two wickets.

Appleton’s thirds went down by three wickets away at Mellor.

The visitors were bowled out for a meagre 115. Mellor reached their target with seven wickets to spare.

The fourths were thrashed by Warrington's fourths at Grange Sports and Social Club in Latchford.

Having been invited to bat first, Appleton were bolwed out for just 66 with no player reaching double figures.

Warrington took just 13 overs to reach their target for the loss of four wickets.

Warrington officials, who also noted wins at their weekend for the firsts and thirds, said the fourths' win was the result of the weekend for the club.

They fielded a side primarily made up of 13 to 14-year-olds.

Despite their inexperience, the youth performed valiantly to take Warrington to victory against Appleton, Harry Charvill and Charlie Jones each taking three wickets and Emily Page, two.

However, Warrington say the highlight of their month so far has been the visit of the Crusaders Cricket Australia touring squad.

Warrington hosted the Crusaders in two fixtures, both high scoring affairs.

While Warrington lost both matches, it was a fantastic day for the club.

Vice-chairman Batey said: “We were honoured to host such prestigious guests for the day.

"While the results weren’t what we had hoped for, it provided nearly 30 of our players with experience of playing against some of the best young cricketing talent in Australia.

"Thanks to the hard work of our groundsman Paul Agar and the fantastic support from members, friends, and family throughout the day, we were able to showcase the brilliant facilities and the warm welcome we provide at Warrington.

"With the thrilling win in the World Cup final as well, we hope this will encourage more and more players down to Walton Lea this summer.

"We’d love to welcome any new or former cricketers down to the club.”