CHILDREN in Somerset from deprived backgrounds, diverse communities, disability groups and women and girls’ cricket programmes are to benefit from a new England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) initiative, set up to deal with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The £1 million investment sees the ECB partner with LV= General Insurance to financially support focus areas of the grassroots cricket community affected by the virus.

Clubs in Somerset can register their interest in the programme and apply for financial assistance to keep crucial cricket projects on course over the coming months.

England stars Mark Wood, Lauren Winfield-Hill and Jordan Williams helped to launch the partnership - called #Funds4Runs - at a virtual event hosted by Isa Guha and Michael Vaughan.

With approximately 2.5 million male and female recreational cricketers across the UK, Wood highlighted the importance after beginning his own journey to World Cup stardom at Ashington Cricket Club in Northumberland.

He said: “I am delighted to help launch #Funds4Runs.

“I know from my experiences as a young cricketer that grassroots cricket is the heartbeat of the sport, and being given that opportunity to access cricket is crucial in building a love for the game.

“Like many other players, I’ve been concerned about the impact of Covid-19 on the game, so a thank you goes to everyone at LV and the ECB for providing support that will help English cricket to recover and thrive.”

The initiative, and LV=GI’s support, will also help deliver against three wider ECB objectives: delivering the purpose of ‘connecting communities and improving lives’ through cricket; increasing the relevance of cricket locally with non-cricket stakeholders; and growing long-term engagement with cricket in communities.

The fund will show initial financial support with two live projects - expanding the existing All Stars programme, and a new partnership with the British Film Institute.

“It really is amazing to see this level of support to be made available to grassroots cricket across the country from the ECB and LV,” said World Cup winner Winfield-Hill.

“There is a real danger that the impact of Covid-19 could have caused a whole generation of young girls to slip through the cracks through lack of access.”

Financial support from the initiative will be accessible to affiliated clubs, All Stars cricket centres, community organisations and County Cricket Boards.

#Funds4Runs is a £1 million investment pot jointly funded by ECB and LV= General Insurance which will help support grassroots cricket communities most impacted by COVID-19. Clubs and organisations can register their interest via or