The former Governor of the Bank of England, Lord Mervyn King, has praised the work of the University of Worcester in developing inclusive sport.
Speaking at an event to launch his new book, at the University of Worcester Arena, Lord King described the University's ethos as "extremely impressive".
"What is being done here is fantastic," said Lord King, who is President of Worcestershire County Cricket Club and of the "Chance to Shine" foundation, which has helped reverse the decline in cricket in state schools and brought cricket to 2 million more boys and girls over the past 10 years, including tens of thousands of young people in inner- city areas. "Sport has always been very important to me. When I was a young man, those with a disability were given no opportunity to engage in sport. But we have come a very long way since then, and particularly since the London 2012 Paralympics."
"Chance to Shine" uses the game to increase aspiration, promote social cohesion and create opportunities, working with all 39 Cricket Boards, including Worcestershire.
Worcestershire County Cricket Club is currently working with the University to create an exciting new inclusive cricket centre immediately adjacent to the University of Worcester Arena. The facility, which is within a short walk of the County Club's iconic New Road ground, will provide facilities for the Club's elite men and women athletes, as well as club and schools, and cricketers of all ages to train, as well as specialist facilities for blind and disability cricket.
"This new facility will symbolise the amazing work being done by Worcestershire County Cricket Club and the University of Worcester to make cricket truly inclusive," said Lord King.
During the event Lord King, who was Governor of the Bank of England from 2003 to 2013, was interviewed by Professor David Green, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University, about his new book and about his passion for sport.
In Lord King's book, The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking and the Future of the Global Economy, he argues for fundamental changes to the financial system in order to reduce the risk of a new crisis.
Speaking after the event, Professor David Green, said: "It was a pleasure and an honour to welcome Lord King to the University of Worcester Arena and to have the opportunity to discuss our current and future developments. We are very excited about the plans being developed with Worcestershire County Cricket Club and the potential for developing inclusive cricket for women and men of all abilities."