Whilst cricket’s administrators have long acknowledged the importance of attracting a younger, more family orientated audience to cricket matches across the country, one of the biggest challenges facing cricket clubs today is how do you engage with young cricket fans when they come to your games and how do you keep them interested and entertained in the long term?
Middlesex County Cricket Club felt that the answer to this lay in engaging them in the game, to not only let them watch their heroes out in the middle, but let them emulate them on the side-lines, by providing them with a simple form of the game that they could play themselves at Middlesex matches as well as taking part in a host of other fun activities. The aim – to ultimately provide them with a fun and engaging cricket experience that they’ll remember for a long, long time. They are after all the future generation of cricket fans!
The answer - Pinky’s Pavilion. Created by the Middlesex Cricket Participation Team, newly introduced at Middlesex matches this year, and proving to be a massive hit with young cricket fans around the county.
Pinky’s Pavilion, sponsored by Lexus Edgware Road, is a fun, interactive cricket zone where young cricket fans can come and take part in Middlesex’s innovative new format of the game, B20 Cricket, whilst also emulating their cricket icons with a speed gun challenge and crazy catch challenge. Members of the Middlesex playing squad regularly drop in for photo opportunities, are happy to sign autographs for their fans, youngsters can take part and win prizes in a number of fun fairground games, and the star of the show, Pinky the Panther, Middlesex’s lovable furry mascot, is always on hand to make sure your visit to Pinky’s Pavilion is a whole load of fun.
Middlesex has rolled out Pinky’s Pavilion at each of their out-ground matches this year at Uxbridge, Merchant Taylors’ School and Radlett, and on every occasion have been inundated with youngsters of all ages, both boys and girls, looking to get involved in the fun.
Sharon Eyers, Middlesex Cricket’s Head of Children and Fans, commented...
“We’ve been absolutely delighted with how well Pinky’s Pavilion has been received by youngsters at each of the matches we’ve taken it to. Our team have been run off their feet.
"To see so many kids coming to Middlesex matches and playing the game themselves, having fun and leaving with smiles on their faces is terrific.
"We’re really excited that Pinky’s Pavilion will be making its debut at Lord’s this coming Thursday evening at our T20 Blast match against Sussex and will be an ever present at the Home of Cricket at each of our T20 Blast and One-Day Cup matches this season and at our Richmond out-ground game in early July.
"If you’ve not come along yet to see what Pinky’s Pavilion is all about, then make sure you do, and I guarantee you’ll have fun.”