Youngsters at Highgate earn reward for All Stars Cricket success with memorable day
PUBLISHED: 16:30 18 July 2019
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Johan de Silva was able to arrange for numerous Highgate cricketers to attend Sunday's World Cup final
The next generation at Highgate had more reasons than most to remember Sunday's World Cup final between England and New Zealand for the rest of their life.
Not only did they get to witness Eoin Morgan's team triumph to become champions at Lord's, but they got to meet the stars of both teams before and after the clash.
Highgate's director of junior cricket Johan de Silva managed to arrange for some of the club's All Star Cricket members to walk out alongside the sides and enjoy an unforgettable day.
"It came about because we are the largest All Stars Cricket centre in the United Kingdom and we had 728 per cent growth last year, so our club is absolutely buzzing with juniors," he said.
"We work in schools within less well-off areas of the borough. It's not the cheapest sport to play, it's difficult, but we try to broaden the demographic by getting out there.
"It was really important to get the kids to Lords too; they were rewarded for both their and their parents and coaches commitment to Highgate CC in recent years. It was an inspiration for them to watch such a great game."
The local youngsters assembled at Lord's for 8.15am rehearsals prior to the anthem ceremonies and all were well behaved.
Afterwards Highgate's All Star Cricketers had the chance to chat to members of the England and New Zealand team and staff.
They were also allowed to play on the Lord's outfield and take in the best ever 50-over contest and perhaps the best cricket match of all-time.
Fred got to chat with Ben Stokes, who warned Adil Rashid the Highgate youngster was after his spot in a few years time.
Khiluv was exhausted come the end of the day, but it was worth it after wishing Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes good luck.
Moeen Ali made sure Tom had a good time and he also got to shake hands with all-time legend Sachin Tendulkar.
Wyn wanted to watch the whole match again while Ben couldn't believe what he had seen and lost his voice.
Toby fraternised with the enemy in Trent Boult, although they enjoyed a good laugh and the stories will be told in the years to come.
Jimmy Neesham was also a true gent and gave Yevi his cap to make it a more special day for Highgate's All Stars Cricket player.
Fellow Black Caps star Henry Nicholls made Connor feel extra special by revealing his own son was called that name too while James got to high-five Joe Root and also got his wish for a tight game - even if it was too much to handle at the end!
Daniel felt a real sense of pride standing with the England players for the national anthem and wants to be like Stokes when he grows up and Monty made sure Jos Buttler's wicket-keeper pads were working by giving them a kick.
Sanjay got to walk out with Jofra Archer and did insist to the fast-bowler England would win the final.
Meanwhile Isaac and Gill, along with all of Highgate's youngsters, created memories that will last a lifetime.
This was only possible due to the Shepherd's Cot side having so many sign up to All Stars Cricket over the last two years.
It was a good weekend for the club on a whole with the first XI picking up five points from a draw at home to Enfield.
Sandum Dias hit an astonishing 176 off 113 balls with 22 fours and 11 maximums to help Highgate get up to 322 before they were all out in the 50th over.
Enfield, in reply, had a go at the chase, but Uzair Amjaid continued to pick up scalps and claimed 7-97. It saw the visitors end on 300-9 and Highgate visit Osterley this Saturday eager to return to winning ways.