Club Cricket Conference

Tuesday, 23rd July 2019

ECB weigh into defibrillator fund with £100,000 donation

By Charles Randall

28 November 2017

Applause rang out at the annual Club Cricket Conference lunch when it was disclosed that the ECB had donated £100,000 to The Club Cricket Charity's  national defibrillator fund.

The announcement to a packed audience at Lord's was well received in the light of another on-field death in the summer. A  pilot programme set up by the Club Cricket Charity aims to supply more than 100 portable defibrillator units to wandering clubs  without a permanent ground or pavilion, ECB county veteran teams and sides affiliated to the National Asian Cricket Council and the African Caribbean Cricket Association.

The scheme stemmed from research the Club Cricket Charity undertook with All Out Cricket magazine as to what recreational players felt could best help their club or side. More than half the responses wanted first aid equipment upgraded, with a defibrillator the number one choice.

Robbie Book, a trustee of the Club Cricket Charity, said 18 defibrillators had been provided after the scheme's launch early this year. "So this funding for the pilot programme from the ECB will make a huge difference to teams across the cricketing spectrum, and we are hugely thankful to the ECB for once again showing their commitment to the recreational game."

He continued: "We know there is an education piece to go alongside this and want to reassure teams that the modern defibrillators we provide are easy to use without any training and will talk anyone through the process – although we do offer a training service if anyone would like to do so."

The need for a defibrillator – a device giving a high-energy electric shock to the heart to reverse cardiac arrest – was highlighted in 2015 when Bavalan Pathmanathan, 24, was struck on the chest while batting for Manipay Parish Sports Club at Long Ditton and later died.

In August this year Mark Collin, 41, father of two, collapsed on the field while playing for Effingham at Newdigate in the Fuller's Surrey County League, triggering a wide outpouring of grief in the community. Bavalan, Mark and many other players over the years might well have been saved by a defibrillator.

Bruce Cruse, head of participation at the ECB, said: "It is vital the club cricketers can enjoy the game in safe and fun environments. This pilot will support a range of difference clubs, many of whom do not have clubhouses to house defibrillators, and enable them to provide medical support and assistance to their members. Our work with the Club Cricket Charity, the National Asian Cricket Council and others is an important part of ensuring that cricket is a game for everyone, no matter your faith, gender, age, ethnicity or geographical location."

According to the Community Heartbeat Trust, time is limited when a cardiac arrest has taken place and the first 10 minutes after moment of collapse are crucial, with the defibrillator needing to be deployed within five minutes.

The long term the aim of the Club Cricket Charity defibrillator fund is for all teams, whether establishment clubs or travelling sides, to have convenient and easy access to a defibrillator at all times. Clubs who are able to fund their own machine can purchase through the charity – meaning the machine will come with all necessary insurance – and those that are unable to fund it themselves can apply to the charity for assistance. The defibrillators supplied through the charity are provided by the Community Heartbeat Trust.