ICC Champions Trophy along with that of the ICC Women’s World Cup visited Caldicot Castle and Caerleon Amphitheatre as part of Glamorgan CCC’s ‘Cricket in the Castles’ initiative.
Lucky youngsters from a host of Newport primary schools enjoyed the experience of a lifetime on Wednesday as two of cricket’s most famous prizes paid them a visit on the latest leg of the Nissan Trophy Tour.
With less than a month to go until the ICC Champions Trophy kicks off in England and Wales, the trophy, along with that of the ICC Women’s World Cup, visited Caldicot Castle and Caerleon Amphitheatre as part of Glamorgan CCC’s ‘Cricket in the Castles’ initiative.
Cricket-mad children from 16 local schools were invited to get up close and personal with the silverware, as well as enjoying an action-packed tournament and fun competitions in the shadows of two of Wales’ finest landmarks.
With four games taking place at the Cardiff Wales Stadium, the ICC Champions Trophy - which kicks off on June 1 - will see many of the world’s finest cricket players in action with England, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan set to grace Welsh soil.
And for Clytha Primary School pupil and cricket fanatic Kirsten Seville, the countdown is well and truly on to the action getting underway.
“I’ve been playing cricket for a year now and I really love the variety of it. You can bat, bowl, be wicketkeeper or field,” said the ten-year-old, from Duffryn.
“Batting is my favourite, because I get to hit the ball over the boundaries and get sixes and fours, so I really like it.
“Today has been lots of fun. We played games against schools representing New Zealand, Pakistan and Australia.
“It was really awesome to see the trophies. I have never seen trophies like that before and now I really want to become a professional player and win one myself!
“I really want to go to Cardiff to watch an ICC Champions Trophy game. It would mean a lot to me, because I really love the sport and it would be the best thing ever.”
The Cardiff Wales Stadium was a host venue for the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy, and continued its staging of major tournaments two years later, welcoming the first Test of the 2015 Ashes series.
And with excitement reaching fever pitch for the latest tournament to visit Cardiff, Paul Matthews, CEO of Monmouthshire County Council, insists this year’s edition will showcase the very best of Wales.
“I think it’s absolutely brilliant that the ICC Champions Trophy is coming to Wales next month,” he said.
“Sport for Monmouthshire as a county is a very big part of what we are about, not just in terms of the elite level, but the money we invest in our young people to give them a great start to life.
“I think having some of the world’s best cricketers come to Wales will be massive. When young people have the chance to see some of the world’s best up close and personal, and what it takes to be an amazing sportsperson, it is inspirational for them.
“I think Wales will embrace the tournament like nowhere else. When Cardiff hosted an Ashes Test for the first time a couple of years ago, the nation was on fire about it.
“We were talking about it for weeks. Cricket is a massive game, especially in Monmouthshire, and is a big part of the sub-culture.
“I am convinced the efforts going in to bringing the ICC Champions Trophy to Wales are going to be hugely appreciated, and we’re going to love it.”