WORCESTERSHIRE cricket chief Kevin Sharp has been helping celebrate support for junior cricket by Newsquest, publishers of the Stourbridge News.

The media giant has signed up as a sponsor of Enville Cricket Club and the deal has resulted in a first-class delivery for young players.

The sponsorship cash provided a new bowling machine for the Enville’s thriving junior section which provides training and competitive matches for more than 100 Black Country youngsters.

The machine was officially handed over by Sharp at a Worcestershire Coaches Association seminar.

Worcestershire are in division one of the Country Championship and their head coach Sharp, who has worked with many of the game’s great players including current England captain Joe Root, was quick to recognise the contribution of club cricket in finding the stars of the future.

He said: “The clubs do a sterling job in encouraging young players to play the game and create a pathway that comes through to a higher level.”

Cricket is working hard to encourage youngsters into the game, which Sharp says offers the best of individual and team sports.

He said: “There is no place to hide in cricket, you can’t pass the ball to someone or get out of the way. Nobody can bat for you, bowl for you or take your catch.

“It’s a real character builder but then you’ve got the team environment where your contribution can contribute towards winning a game.”

Paul Grainger, Enville cricket development officer, said: “It’s fantastic that Newsquest has chosen to support us with their sponsorship, which has allowed us to add vital new equipment to our training facilities.

“This will be a great new addition to our efforts in bringing more young people into cricket.”