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Corker cricket comp planned for July

Digital Next co-founder Mark Blackhurst with Greater Manchester Youth Network’s Kate Thomas and the winners’ trophyManchester based marketing agency and FSB members, DigitalNext, has joined forces with a local charity to launch a business themed cricket tournament in Cheshire – and local firms are being urged to join the fun on the day.

Launched with the hashtag #cricketsthewinner, the tournament takes place on July 26 at Lindow Cricket Club, the tournament complementing what’s already set to be an exciting summer of cricket, with the Ashes and cricket World Cup taking place over July and August.

  “We can’t wait, it’s going to be brilliant, and we already have a number of teams pre-launch committed to taking part,” explained Mark Blackhurst, who runs DigitalNext at Manchester’s Sharp Project with his brother Justin. “We looked at various clubs across the North West before deciding on Lindow Cricket Club which has a great youth section there.”

The Blackhurst's celebrated the launch of the tournament and the countdown to the event by unveiling the trophy which is up for grabs (pictured).

DigitalNext is one of the first UK agencies of its kind to open a satellite office in Melbourne, Australia. It now has a staff of 15 based there, a core of which came from the company’s Manchester headquarters. “The Ashes and Cricket World cup is going to be massive this summer, and with our successful Melbourne base opening in the past few years, we wanted a double celebration of the strong ties between the UK and Australia,” continued Mark.

“We believe sport can be a key way of bringing people together and wanted to build on the success of other similar projects we’ve run before. So we’ve come up with this fun, sporty day which players of all abilities can enjoy. It will be a great day for family members and spectators, too.”

The brothers have long been fans of the game, and have played cricket locally for years. Both are also England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) approved coaches in the sport. Equally, the agency has a number of keen cricketers on its staff, including Head of Digital Chris Tipper, a former professional with Lancashire Cricket Club (LCC).

CEO Justin Blackhurst explains: “We were approached by The Greater Manchester Youth Network charity to hold an event that would broadcast the amazing work it does to improve the lives of young people in our area. We simply could not be happier to be partnering with such a fantastic charity, and to be helping celebrate its work.”

On the day, the final of the tournament is scheduled to take place at around 6.30pm, following the afternoon’s play.

Businesses from across Greater Manchester and Cheshire are being urged to take part in the event. Companies can either sponsor a team or a player, or become a partner, or just show up to enjoy an afternoon of cricket with family and friends.

Mark says: “We’re encouraging people to come along and enjoy the fun, even if you don’t know much about cricket at this stage. Companies will also be able to publicise their involvement on social media. Four teams have already signed up, and tickets and the chance to take part are likely to be snapped up quickly.”

Warwickshire Cricket Club is providing officials, umpires and a professional scorer, and the afternoon will also feature inflatables, hot tubs, food and drink stalls plus VIP areas, alongside music and a DJ. 

Mark added: “We’re great believers in a healthily balanced life with sport and exercise, and in having interests outside work. The benefits of sporting activities on mental health are well known – another reason for organising the tournament.”

The Greater Manchester Youth Network encourages young people to be safe, ambitious and valued through its programmes of work. In 2018, it supported 750 young people who had experienced disability, unemployment, mental health issues and other forms of social isolation.

For more information or to take part e-mail Mark on: mark@digitalnext.co.uk