Page last updated at 11:17 GMT, Saturday, 25 September 2010 12:17 UK
Cricket's grassroots stories told in digital history

The team previously produced stories to mark the Ashes Test in Cardiff - video courtesy of the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling

A digital history of grassroots cricket in the UK and Sri Lanka is being created by the University of Glamorgan.

Taking the Field will celebrate the role that cricket plays in the lives of ordinary people through their stories illustrated by music, video and photos.

The university's George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling has previously worked with Glamorgan Cricket Club.

The project will run over two years and collect digital stories from local clubs for display at Lord's and online.

"I am really looking forward to working on such an important and exciting project," said research associate Emma Peplow, a cricket lover who grew up in Bridgend.

Emma Peplow with a statue of WG Grace
Cricket and history are the twin passions of Emma Peplow

"Taking the Field is an excellent opportunity to combine my love of cricket with my academic background in history."

Accessible technology will be used to encourage and inspire local communities to share their memories in creative ways.

Local clubs will be given the opportunity to portray their history and its changing role in the community using their own voices, archives and ideas.

Project leaders say the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) Museum at Lord's will give clubs and communities a prestigious platform to document their history.

In return, the museum will expand its collection to further cover both grassroots and international cricket, and use these artefacts to promote the game.

Taking the Field will focus on key themes describing cricket and its place in society; such as the effect of migration, decolonization, changing women's roles and class on local cricket clubs and their communities.

Newport Asians cricketers
The Newport Asians club unites players from all south Asian backgrounds

As such, the project will act as a social history of the UK and Sri Lanka and attempt to document the long links between them, from the colonial past to current, post-Tsunami reconstruction.

Professor Mike Wilson, who is supervising the project, said: "The project itself will attempt to reflect the diverse nature of cricket in both the UK and Sri Lanka, as well as the character of cricket clubs and the communities they serve.

"It will chart the changes of both good and bad, experienced by clubs and communities over the past century."

Adam Chadwick, curator of collections at the MCC Museum, added: "MCC is delighted to be a part of this groundbreaking partnership.

"The club is seeking to underline how dynamic its heritage collections can be.

"Emma Peplow's work over the next two years will mirror not only MCC's support for school, club and university cricket but also its efforts to help communities in Sri Lanka in the wake of the Tsunami."

The project is intended to be self-sustaining and will invite clubs not initially involved to come forward and tell their own stories.

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