A Sale cricket coach was left in disbelief after being awarded tickets to the semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy as recognition for his devotion to a local cricket club.
Peter Whyley coaches at Ashton on Mersey Cricket Club and has loved cricket since school but first decided to pass on this passion to others after his two sons were born over 20 years ago.
Seeing his children through to senior cricket was not enough for the retired civil engineer, so Whyley got involved in the club to convince other young people to play the game he loves.
The 62-year-old works with cricketers ranging from seven to 18 years old and is particularly proud of how many female players have joined during his tenure, but Whyley insists his work has been a privilege.
He said: “It means a lot to me to be a cricket coach, the enjoyment I get from it is seeing youngsters enjoy themselves and, as they get older, understand the higher points of cricket and take that through to senior level.
“I see my job as a junior cricket coach as trying to get as many numbers as possible through to playing cricket in their twenties and if I can get the girls as well as the boys to do that, it gives me great satisfaction.
“My philosophy is that, first and foremost, I want the juniors to enjoy taking part – winning matches or winning trophies is not the be all and end all.
“In that way, hopefully we’ll have a thriving, positive environment at the club where everybody wants to take part, including parents getting involved as well.
Britain welcomes the ICC Champions Trophy once more this year, after successfully hosting the event four years ago, and fixtures will take place in London, Birmingham and Cardiff, starting on Thursday.
Whyley, originally from Birmingham, was nominated to win tickets to the competition by Ginny and Amit Chorgade, whose son and daughter are two of the many who have benefitted from such a committed coach.
A Sale resident for the last 40 years, Whyley will return to his home town to enjoy the ICC Champions Trophy semi-final at Edgbaston on June 15, though he still cannot believe he was chosen.
“I was surprised and very honoured when I heard that I’d been nominated – it makes me feel very proud to get those positive comments,” he added.
“I’m still in disbelief, first of all that parents of a junior cricketer would make the step to make a nomination and after that, disbelief that it was a winning nomination.
“We can certainly expect very exciting cricket from the Champions Trophy and, as far as England is concerned, they will go in feeling very positive.”
The ICC Champions Trophy (1-18 June) and ICC Women’s World Cup (24 June – 23 July) will both see the best eight ODI teams in the world compete for glory in England & Wales this summer. Tickets available at icc-cricket.com/tickets