West Indies legend Walsh inspires east London youngsters at Wanstead

West Indies legend Courtney Walsh with Emdad Rahman and Arfan Akram

West Indies legend Courtney Walsh with Emdad Rahman and Arfan Akram - Credit: Archant

Fast bowler passes on tips at special training session

West Indies cricketing legend Courtney Walsh put a number of youngsters through their paces during a special two-hour training session at Wanstead Cricket Club.

The event was arranged by East London Cricket co-ordinator Arfan Akram, the long-serving former Wanstead captain, who said: “It’s fabulous having a legend here and ‘Cuddy’s’ huge presence has made a lasting impact as the youngsters have picked up so many useful tips on fast bowling.

“We have a special relationship with Cuddy and Wanstead CC have visited the West Indies to play cricket and to also support the Courtney Walsh Foundation. The youngsters here will treasure this memory.”

Fast bowler Asha Roberts sent in video footage for analysis after Akram had made an announcement about the visit on social media.

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Roberts subsequently made the cut and was invited to attend the session with Walsh, saying: “I didn’t expect to be invited and I nearly missed the deadline for sending my video in for judging. I’m really glad I did.

“Within one minute Courtney Walsh was able to suggest improvement to the way I grip the ball, my run-up and my body shape. It’s no surprise this guy was once the world’s record wicket-taker.”

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Akram later hosted an evening with Courtney Walsh and Michael Holding to support the Courtney Walsh Foundation.

In partnership with Elite Event Caterers, Wanstead & Snaresbrook CC held a charity dinner to support the foundation, with the two West Indies legends taking part in an interactive Q&A as a £3,000 target to raise £5,000 was surpassed.

Wanstead & Snaresbrook CC has a strong and historic link supporting the great work the Courtney Walsh Foundation delivers to those less fortunate through the power of cricket in Jamaica.

A number of Wanstead CC members have had first-hand experience of supporting projects, such as cricket in prisons to help rehab and prevent re-offending.

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