Essex and England star Alastair Cook lends a hand with makeover of Copdock and Old Ipswichian Cricket Club
PUBLISHED: 10:54 02 April 2017 | UPDATED: 10:54 02 April 2017
Former England cricket captain Alastair Cook was in demand during a visit to Suffolk on Saturday.
The Essex batsman was at Copdock & Old Ipswichian Cricket Club, who had been chosen as one of only three ‘showcase’ clubs across the country for this year’s NatWest CricketForce.
The annual volunteering event, which is the biggest in UK sport, is aimed at rejuvenating clubs’ facilities through encouraging supporters, their families and friends as well as local businesses to give something back to their club.
The ‘GroundForce meets Changing Rooms’ style makeover saw more than 100 club members taking part at the Old London Road ground to complete stage three of the pavilion redevelopment.
Cook, who arrived mid-morning with the makeover in full swing, joined club members in helping to put up netting and also painting of the scorebox.
He later joked that he was ‘sacked’ from helping put up the netting and that where he had painted the scorebox would need re-painting.
England’s all-time leading Test match run-scorer then joined the club’s junior members for some coaching on the outfield.
He was joined at Copdock by Mike Gatting, who is also a former England Ashes-winning captain and these days an England and Wales Cricket Board ambassador.
After working on renovating the scorebox, Gatting joined Cook in signing autographs and posing for photographs.
The club, who have raised more than £100,000 over the past four-and-a-half years towards the project, were tasked with completing ten small projects on the day.
These included laying a new patio outside the front of the extended pavilion, fencing and replacing decking.
Martin Taylor, the club’s development officer, said: “The ECB have been an outstanding partner throughout our whole journey with a number of investments plus their support and encouragement.”
He also praised Virador Credits, who have paid £50,000 to support the redevelopment of toilets and the kitchen, and NatWest for their support, both financially and on the day, with 10 employees helping with various projects.
Gatting praised the club for the fantastic facilities which will benefit the local community.