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    Roving reporter: The mystery of £250000 that changed fortunes of little Hoveringham CC

    Roving reporter: The mystery of £250000 that changed fortunes of little Hoveringham CC

    A former member of the club, in his will, left behind his entire life's savings in the name of Hoveringham CC.

    Updated: June 20, 2019 12:42 PM IST | Edited By: Aditya Bhattacharya
    NOTTINGHAM: It was a relatively quiet day at the Trent Bridge cricket ground. Rain had lashed the city the night before because of which the ground remained slightly wet and the surface covered. Two days remained before West Indies took on Australia but there were no signs of cricket. Australia were to arrive in Nottingham a day later, while the West Indies were scheduled to visit a few local schools in the city. "I'm afraid there isn't much to do here today, sir. You'd want to come back tomorrow, maybe." I turned around to see a burly individual with his hands on his waist, staring at me, as if it's his property I've trespassed. "I'm a journalist from India. Are you sure nothing is scheduled for today?" I ask. "Nope, nothing you can do today except roam around the stadium." Stephen Campbell is a cricket development officer at Trent Bridge, or the Nottinghamshire Cricket Club as it's better known. His main responsibilities include working as a batting coach for the young and overlooks as many as 84 primary schools across Nottingham. He is a former club cricketer who's played at the semi-professional level across Australia and England during the late 2000s. A medium-pace bowler during his playing days, Stephen had to give up cricket after unfortunately getting in a collision with a car. After 18 months of recovering, he switched to behind-the-scene operations at the NCC. Outside of his duties at the NCC, Stephen performs another role. He is the groundsman of the Hoveringham Cricket Club, located in the outskirts of Nottingham, roughly 11 miles from Trent Bridge. The rough count of people at Trent Bridge, including myself came up to 20, so Stephen suggested he gave me a ride till Hoveringham and maybe do a little feature on the cricket club. I reluctantly agreed, since there were no important chores left to do, but once Stephen offered a cold one for the course of the ride, the decision to ride along became pretty much a foregone conclusion. "Hop on," he says. During the ride, we discuss about his role at the Trent Bridge stadium. But Stephen somehow always manages to divert it towards Hoveringham CC. It's where he's spent his entire life at. His father is the president of the club and he has served there as a cricketer, groundsman, umpire, publicity manage and more. The club was founded in 1803 but began struggling to meet ends along the way. But a throw of dice, as they say, changed the fate of the club, after it was known that a former member of Hoveringham, in his will, left behind his entire life's savings in the name of the club, the amount being a gobsmacking 250,000. The club usually spends around 5000 a season on its various outgoings, but since the inheritance, the club has chalked out a proper plan of development. Stephen mentions the club feels it is its duty to make sure that Wright's gesture is channelled rightly towards the betterment of the club he devoted his entire life to. "As I said, our current playing staff are volunteers; our committee members. Our entire structure is based as volunteers. What we wish to do is just sustain the number of people performing those roles. If we went back three years ago, we were really struggling to get volunteers. Now, we have grasped a bit of interest because of the money that has been invested and hopefully we can reward out volunteers better. I think it's very important you reward them" Stephen adds. "But more than anything, we now want to start an academy for young and promising cricketers and build our own team. We are involved with the ECB in terms of overseeing a programme that offers cricket training to players starting from the age of five and going till 12. So once, we get a core team, I think that is when we'll really start to look forward, Until then, it's one thing at a time. It's almost 3 when Stephen and I decide to head back. I tell him how I myself am part of an amateur team back in India called LIT and that as a matter of fact, four of its members are in England to cover the World Cup. To that, his eyes widen. "Great, maybe we can get the two clubs together and have a match sometime."
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