Durham will this year play host to the 27th Bunbury Cricket Festival commencing Monday July 22nd and going through until to Thursday July 25th.
It is the first time since 1979 that the North East will play host to the best young players in England in the U15 age group who will gather at the festival which is renowned for nurturing the next generation of stars.
Four teams have been picked in regions with the North, London and East, South and West and Midlands all represented in the festival which will be hosted by Durham University with the Racecourse Ground and Maiden Castle the venues for the matches across the week.
The festival is highly regarded in English cricket and there is a long list of players who have emerged from the festival to go on and play International and County cricket. Not only this but through the festival the boys are educated in the spirit of cricket and mateship.
In the 27 years of the festival, 60 boys have gone on to play International cricket whilst 306 have played First class cricket.
The list includes many current England team players including England Captain Alistair Cook and Ashes First Test destroyer James Anderson (honorary).
Many current Durham CCC players have also represented their region in the festival with the likes of Paul Collingwood, Graham Onions (honorary), Gordon Muchall, Chris Rushworth, Phil Mustard, Ben Stokes and Scott Borthwick (honorary) all Bunbury’s in their junior days.
Former England One-Day and T20 Captain and current Durham Captain Paul Collingwood said that his days at the Bunbury festival was a great stepping stone for his International cricket aspirations.
“Being picked to play in the Bunbury Festival and having an opportunity to represent the North was something a little bit special,” Collingwood said.
“The experience of playing in the festival gave me an insight into what it would take to be a professional cricketer.
“Looking back on it now it also taught me that as pressure mounts it is important to remember that at the end of the day it is still the same game you used to love playing with your mates back in the North East”.
Not only will the stars of tomorrow get to battle it out against the best in their age group but they will also get to play on Emirates Durham ICG, the venue for the 4th Investec Ashes Test Match when they play t20 matches on Wednesday.
Teams will also get a ground tour and will get to watch their idols in action and perhaps see into the future when they witness the Friends Life t20 match between Durham and Leicestershire on Thursday evening.
2013 Bunbury Cricket Fixture
North vs London & East (Racecourse Ground)
Midlands vs South & West (Maiden Castle)
North vs South & West (Racecourse Ground)
Midlands vs London & East (Maiden Castle)
Twenty20 matches at Emirates Durham ICG from 12pm
North vs Midlands (Racecourse Ground)
London & East vs South & West (Maiden Castle)