They have given almost three decades of their lives to encouraging local cricketing talent and now their ‘wildest dreams’ have been realised after they got to walk the World Cup trophy out at the Oval and Lords and meet their heroes.
Harshil Trivedi and Asad Butt, Chairman and Head Coach of Thornton Heath Cricket Club, were nominated for the unique opportunity by Christine Double of Croydon Voluntary Action.
Harshil was at the Bangladesh vs New Zealand match and Asad at the Australia vs New Zealand matches.
Harshil said: “I would say that this is something beyond my wildest dreams.
“It is quite surreal walking on to the turf, where the greatest batsman of all time played his last innings, before two of the best teams in the world enter for their national anthems, but the event staff put you at ease from the get go.
“I managed to meet Daniel Vettori, who is a childhood hero of mine and Bangladesh icon Abdur Razzaq. I quizzed him on various aspects of spin bowling which I will take back to the club in September. “
Asad, was accompanied by his nine -year-old son, Hasan which he said this “made this day even more special, adding: “It was an absolutely amazing experience carrying the World Cup. It was truly an honour when we took the trophy to the middle of the ground in front of the packed Lord’s crowd.
“All the international players and officials were in close proximity, and we experienced the wonderful atmosphere. Thousands of people were clapping when we carried the trophy to the plinth before the national anthems for both teams were played.
“It was a humbling experience when our names were announced in the ground along with the services I had provided to the local community over the past few years.
“The cricket world cup has sparked special interest in this sport from all parts of the community, which will help us in engaging youngster in playing cricket in Thornton Heath and Croydon area.
“I would like to thank Christine Double (CVA), Harshil and Pete Nutall (ECB) for making this day so special for us. This will stay in our memories for the rest of our lives. “
Harshil has been coaching for 13 years and is a Level 2 qualified coach.
He said:. “I work with local clubs, training academies and charities and provide one to one coaching for children in the local area with a focus on getting the best out of every individual regardless of their background or ability.
“What inspired me to start Thornton Heath Cricket Club was the lack of support for the youth in the local area which meant I had to travel to The Oval to get a good quality of coaching. Since 2007, I have worked with community partners like Chance to Shine, CVA, Surrey Cricket Foundation and great individuals like Paul Macey, Christine Double, Chevy Green and Asad Butt which has elevated us to be the biggest cricket club in North Croydon by weekly turnout and only active cricket academy which is free at point of delivery in Croydon.”