CHIPPENHAM captain Lee Ward wants last week’s Cricket World Cup trophy visit to inspire the next generation of Wiltshire cricketers and spark some local interest in the sport.

Last Tuesday, World Cup winners James Vince and Liam Dawson took a step back in time by visiting Hardenhuish Park – home of Chippenham Cricket Club – to parade the trophy England spectacularly won against New Zealand in the final this summer in the most nail-biting game the sport has ever witnessed.

Vince and Dawson were part of Chippenham’s academy as teenagers before county giants Hampshire swooped to sign both men.

Working with Wiltshire Cricket, the Chippenham club hosted events with local primary schools during the day before members of the public were able to have their picture taken with the World Cup trophy from 5pm.

And club captain Ward was delighted with the turnout on the day.

He said: “We had people from all over Wiltshire visit the club to have their picture taken with the trophy.

“It was great for the club, and it was good to see so many young kids visit – which is the point of the World Cup, to inspire the next generation of cricketers.”

The day capped off what has been a memorable year for Chippenham.

Following their promotion from WEPL Wiltshire just 12 months earlier, Ward’s troops completed another title triumph by winning the Premier Two Glos/Wilts crown on the final day of the season after defeating title rivals Thornbury.

It means Chippenham will next season play in the highest regional tier – WEPL Premier One.

Ward plans for Dawson and Vince’s success, coupled with the club’s promotion, to act as an incentive for the town’s younger players to aspire to great things.

He added: “Both players were in our junior academy and played some age group cricket for us before starting with the seniors.

“James and Liam were then picked up by Hampshire where they went on to both play through the age groups to the senior side.

“It’s a great incentive for our youngsters. Coaches in our junior academy reiterate the message that we’ve had England players in our academy to our younger players.

“James and Liam have been in our youngsters’ shoes and gone all the way. It’s a nice thing for us as a club to have.”