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It's Cricket But Not As You Know It

The Vodafone sponsored ECB Cricket Roadshow will be at Chester-le-Street on Friday 19th July for the Women's One Day International match between England and India, and again on Saturday 20th July for the Women's ODI Final which sees England take on current World Champions, New Zealand. The 40ft articulated lorry houses an interactive exhibition of cricket enabling young cricket supporters to:

· Face the Australian opening attack in a brand new Channel 4 sponsored Virtual Reality game.
· Compare reaction speeds with those of England's star players including Vodafone Player of the Year and England Captains Nasser Hussain and Clare Connor.
· Take part in the BBC Radio Commentary Challenge game. Be a BBC Radio cricket reporter and win the chance to commentate live at the Ashes this winter on BBC Radio 5 Live or Test Match Special.
· Play the new EA SPORTS Cricket 2002 game and enter the free prize draw to win a copy of the game
· Take the Roadshow Challenge by testing bowling, batting and fielding skills in the inflatable outdoor game zones.

Spearheading ECB's programme to promote cricket to children is the interactive Virtual Reality cricket headset game in which youngsters face Australia's best bowler at the Oval. The Game encourages children to use their computer game skills whilst helping to develop their cricket technique.

The Virtual Reality game is sponsored by Channel 4 as part of their grass roots sponsorship package which also includes Howzat!, Beach Cricket, Street Cricket Inner City Programme and the Darren Gough Cricket Academy.

ECB expects more than 5,000 children, in addition to the England Cricket Team, to experience the thrill of virtual reality cricket this summer.

The Game is complemented by digital images of Umpire David Shepherd and commentary is provided by Mark Nicholas and Ian Bishop, both of whom were recorded specifically for the game.

Pauline Peel, ECB Women's Club Cricket Development Officer for the North East said "The Roadshow provides a great chance for boys and girls to come along and have a go at cricket - whether it's playing the game or commentating on it. We hope to see budding cricketers or journalists from Durham, plus the best computer games players - and that includes parents too!"

England Captain, Clare Connor said "the England women's team have had a go at the activities on the Roadshow and they're fantastic. Hopefully parents and children can watch us play some exciting cricket on both days, and have some fun on the Roadshow too".

For further information, please contact Andrea Wiggins, ECB Media Relations Officer, 07774 476400

The Roadshow is manned by a permanent crew of four staff and regionally-based fully qualified cricket development officers and coaches. The Roadshow will visit 30 venues across the country, providing over 60 days of activity expected to attract over 20,000 children.

The Virtual Reality game has been developed by Leicester based market leaders Maelstrom Virtual Productions. Actual bowling action was motion captured earlier this year in a special facility at Granada Studios, providing game players with a very accurate reproduction of action and speed.

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