A CHARITY fund to offer financial support to nurture the next generation of talented young cricketers has been launched.

Grants will be made available to help grassroots clubs develop the sport at youth level in County Durham and maintain the tradition of unearthing some of the country's best cricketing talents.

Durham County Cricket Club Youth Trust launched the fund to give grants to local cricket clubs and other community organisations which develop youth cricket at all levels of the game.

Projects that specifically promote the development of young cricketers will also be supported.

County Durham has produced a succession of talented cricketers who have gone on to reach the top of the game, such as Paul Collingwood, Phil Mustard and Graham Onions, and organisers hope the new fund will help maintain the tradition.

Geoff Cook, Director of Cricket at Durham County Cricket Club and Chair of the Trustees of the Youth Trust and the new fund said: “The aim is to help the players fulfil their potential and ambitions and is a tremendous boost to the Youth Trust which has supported developing cricketers over the past 34 years.”

The fund will be managed by County Durham Community Foundation (CDCF).

Chief executive Barbara Gubbins said: “This is a very exciting opportunity for CDCF to help the Trust encourage and develop youth cricket in our area.

“Supporting sporting activities has been an essential part of our grant-making as it is so vital to grow individual core skills such as teamwork, commitment, trust and friendships – as well as promoting health and wellbeing.

“This Fund will be an important addition to the range of grant opportunities we manage and we look forward to working with Geoff and the other Trustees to achieve their aims.”

For more information visit CDCF website cdcf.org.uk.