Leyton Orient host the annual cricket collaboration

Cricket took centre stage at Leyton Orient’s Breyer Group Stadium as the O’s home provided a base for a whole host of activities, supported by Essex Cricket in the Community.

The annual collaboration started in 2018. The emphasis from the cricket community highlights that anywhere can be a cricket ground. They wanted a venue where the easiest form of the game, Tape Ball Cricket can be played under lights. The O’s came to the rescue and the festival keeps going from strength to strength.

Despite an unscheduled hiatus due to the pandemic, the event made a successful return. Working with Leyton Orient Football Trust and LOFC Btec students, Essex Cricket in the Community supported a day of activities that included Primary Schools Festival, Secondary Schools Festival, our Chelmsford and Leyton Walking Cricket groups playing, Table Cricket, Ability Cricket session and topped up by an evening of Tape Ball Adult Community programme with the finals played under the lights.

Loxford Lions win the Men’s Adult Tape Ball Festival under the Brisbane Road floodlights. Ahmad Khawaja retired after five balls having hit five sixes in a row.

Khwaja, who plays his club cricket for Old Southendian & Southchurch in the Hamro Foundation Essex League, explained: “It is a great competition that Essex Cricket in the Community organises.

“Leyton Orient FC are kind enough to give Essex the ground for free every year to promote cricket in Essex. It provides an opportunity for amateur cricketers to come to such a significant football stadium and play cricket under floodlights.”

Essex Cricket Tape Ball Co-ordinator, Mabs Alam, added: “Tape Ball Cricket is cheap as you only need a bat, tennis ball, electric tape and stumps, accessible as it can be played anywhere and adaptable depending on time, space or number of participants available to play.

“The Leyton Orient Tape Festival once again bought together people from different ages, ability gender and showcased that the game of cricket through this format truly is a game for all.”

Brian Jeeves

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