Pupils were bowled over

Former Durham Cricket Club wicketkeeper Martin Speight and Durham Ladies team member Danielle Hazell with Sacred Heart school pupils Rebecca Wright, Rebecca Hinds, Gabriel Smith, Jake Swinburne, Marcus Williams, Finn Williams, Caitlin Chapman and Tia Morfitt
Former Durham Cricket Club wicketkeeper Martin Speight and Durham Ladies team member Danielle Hazell with Sacred Heart school pupils Rebecca Wright, Rebecca Hinds, Gabriel Smith, Jake Swinburne, Marcus Williams, Finn Williams, Caitlin Chapman and Tia Morfitt

PRIMARY school children were bowled over by the chance to play cricket with a former professional.

Ex-Durham Cricket Club wicketkeeper Martin Speight spent the day at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Primary School, in Hartlepool.

There he was joined by current Durham Ladies team member Danielle Hazell.

Martin, who also played for Sussex, Wellington and Northumberland during a 17-year career, umpired as more than 60 Year 5 pupils at the school enjoyed games of Kwik Cricket.

The visit was organised as part of the Chance to Shine programme which the children have been taking part in over the past months.

As well as playing cricket, the youngsters created their own West Indian-themed artwork to coincide with the current test series between England and West Indies.

School staff said the children were on a high after the activities, which were organised to mark National Cricket Day.

Kate Atherton, PE co-ordinator at the school, in Hart Lane, in the town, said: “The children really enjoyed it.

“They absolutely loved being outside in the yard playing, especially with the weather as nice as it is.

“They wanted to do more, they were asking afterwards whether we can organise the same again for next week.”