Eleven of the Middlesex Elite Player Group visited Barnet General Hospital yesterday, specifically the Starlight Ward (Neonatal) and Galaxy Ward (Children’s), to spread some Christmas cheer to parents and children who could well be spending their own festive periods in the hospital.

In advance of the planned visit yesterday, the Barnet Hospital Charity provided us with a list of essential items that would be of huge benefit to the parents and the young babies within the wards, which included clothing, developmental items and everyday supplies, which the boys then spent the last two weeks collecting.

Last Sunday’s training session saw the boys swap their normal tools of bats, balls and pads for scissors, sellotape and wrapping paper as the group sat at the Middlesex Indoor Cricket School in Finchley and diligently wrapped well over a hundred gifts they’d collected for the hospital.

The boys had the wonderful and moving opportunity yesterday to go into the two wards with the hospital staff, hand out presents to the parents, whilst also spending time with the nursing staff to chat about the outstanding work they do all year round for the families and new-born babies in their care.

This entire project provided the playing group with a fantastic opportunity to do something different outside of cricket, broaden their experiences, whilst teaching them some valuable lessons in life.

Ethan Bamber, one of the players involved commented: “It put what we do into perspective. Any one of us could be in the position of those babies and that is tricky to comprehend. The generosity and humility shown by everyone in the face of such difficulty made me realise how lucky I am to spend most of my time just worrying about cricket.”

“We play with a bat and a ball, they play with a life on Christmas Day.” said Anosh Malik.

Whilst Blake Cullen added: “It was a great experience and very eye-opening to how lucky I am. I was also stunned by the positive attitude and commitment of the staff."