Some local clubs offer winter sessions inviting youngsters that have never played to try the game. These sessions generally welcoming players from the age of around six, and will continue to service them until they are ready to step into the next level of the game – hopefully with that club.
There are also some nationwide initiatives that try to get youngsters into the sport. All Schools works with 5-8 year olds, introducing them to the game with fun sessions in their local school. Kwik Cricket continues to run and is supported by Gray-Nicolls, supporting cricketers up to the age of 11. Chance to Shine, another Gray-Nicolls partner, does brilliant work getting children into cricket, and offers lots of online resources to complete their knowledge of the game.
For adults, there are a few easy ways to start playing the game for the first time. The first thing to do is to see which clubs there are in your local area. Most clubs will have between 2 and 4 teams that play Saturday cricket, with others offering Sunday and midweek friendlies, and the new Last Man Stands 8-a-side competition played on week nights.
A club will be able to accommodate you, offering coaching as you look to gain new skills and improve your game. After some initial training, you should be able to make your way into one of their teams pretty quickly and get your match-playing experience up and running.