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British Queen celebrates

Members of the victorious England Men’s ICC T20 Cricket World Cup team today visited 10 Downing Steet to meet the Prime Minister.

They were joined by young people participating in the ACE programme, a scheme to improve talent pathways for aspiring black cricketers, who played cricket in the Downing Street garden.

Professional players including Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Dawid Malan, Chris Woakes and head coach Matthew Mott were in attendance. They presented the Prime Minister with an England shirt signed by the entire team.

The Prime Minister congratulated the team for their impressive victory against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup final in November and commended them for inspiring a new generation of young people to take up the sport.

He also praised the ACE programme for its work to open up the game and make cricket more accessible, while helping to produce a new pipeline of exciting talent for the sport.

Backed by government and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) funding, ACE operates in six inner cities across the country and has helped a succession of young players move into cricketing academies and professional teams.

The programme, which was launched in 2020, focuses not only on talent development but also aims to recruit more coaches and volunteers and inspire the whole community to engage with cricket.

The Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, said:

As both Prime Minister and a lifelong cricket fan it was a pleasure to welcome members of the victorious world cup winning side and young cricketers from the ACE programme to No10 today.

This is a hugely exciting time for English cricket, with success on the field across all formats and the Ashes taking place in England this summer.

Cricket is a sport for everyone and I know that the success of the team will inspire kids from all backgrounds to get involved in the game.

We’re backing that up with over £600 million for school sports and a new requirement for all schools to provide a minimum of two hours of PE a week

The team’s victory at the T20 World Cup in November follows the women’s team’s win at the 2017 ICC 50-over Women’s World Cup. The men’s team were also triumphant in the 2019 ICC World Cup 50-over competition.

The visit follows the government’s major schools’ sports package last week, which includes over £600 million across the next two years for the PE and Sport Premium and a requirement for schools to deliver a minimum of two hours of curriculum PE.

The announcement also set out new standards for equal access to sports, making it clear that girls and boys should be offered the same sports during PE and extracurricular time in schools.