ASPIRING Ben Stokeses, Mark Woods and Heather Knights have been bowled over by a funding boost which has allowed their club to buy new equipment.

Bishop Auckland Cricket Club has been awarded more than £1,000 by Durham County Council which will benefit its younger members.

The money has come through the council’s Bishop Auckland and Shildon Area Partnership and has allowed the club to buy a new boundary rope complete with winder.

The rope has made it easier for juniors to play cricket at the club’s ground as it allows the boundary to be increased or decreased in size depending on the age of those playing.

The £1,080 has come from the neighbourhood budget of Councillor Joy Allen, the council’s Cabinet member for transformation, culture and tourism.

Andrew Walker, AAP coordinator, said: “We are delighted to support Bishop Auckland Cricket Club, which continues to make a big difference to our aspiring young cricketers.

“We hope the new rope will help them develop into the next generation of World Cup winners and get even more youngsters playing the game.”

The club has four junior teams and 75 young players, and takes part in the England and Wales Cricket Board’s All Stars Cricket programme.

Stuart Hill, coach and All Starts activator, said: “The rope has made a massive difference to the club and has been overwhelming in terms of an increase in All Stars attendance.”