India Club wants to leave lasting legacy in Derbyshire

Derbyshire CC 2nds v Lancashire at Glossop, Derbyshire's Tom Poynton
Derbyshire CC 2nds v Lancashire at Glossop, Derbyshire's Tom Poynton

Tom Poynton is chairing an advisory group aiming to help strengthen the club’s relationship with the county’s multi-cultural community.

Poynton, who lost his father tragically in April and has been ruled out of playing this season, and the India Club will look to engage with the county’s 25,000 strong British/South Asian community.

To kick it off, a full strength India test match squad - captained by MS Dhoni and including the likes of Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja and Guatam Gambhir - will face Derbyshire at the County Ground in a three-day match in July.

The group want to engage the British Indian population to play, attend and follow cricket in Derbyshire and - in the process - to maximise attendances at the game and welcome dinner.

Poynton said: “We want to make sure everybody in the community knows they have an opportunity to watch the Indian test team and get close to their cricketing heroes in Derby.

“By creating the India Club, we aim to welcome new members who love cricket and are keen to meet others in a relaxed and welcoming setting.

“We’ve made tremendous progress already and there’s no doubt we’ll attract a healthy crowd.

“More importantly, we are looking to leave a long-term legacy of supporters coming back to enjoy their local county cricket club.”

Poynton added: “The circumstances are tragic, but I’ve got to put my energy elsewhere and I’m more than happy to be helping the club in any way I can.

“We have an exciting prospect with India coming this summer and it’s great to be so heavily involved in making it successful for the club and the British Indian community.”

The group of advisors includes Baggy Shanker (Sinfin and Osmaston councillor) and Kultaran Singh (HSKS Greenhalgh Accountants managing director).

Mr Singh said: “You’ll find a lot of people within the Indian community who are passionate cricket supporters.

“The trouble is, it is difficult getting them out of their armchairs and into clubs like Derbyshire.”