A DEVELOPER for one of Winchester’s largest housing projects has joined forces with a nearby cricket club to donate equipment to a needy African team.

Cala Homes, responsible for the Barton Farm development, has collaborated with Sparsholt Cricket Club to donate 30 shirts to an all-female fledgling cricket team, known as the White Clouds.

Sparsholt has become the first club in England to be twinned with a Rwandan side, with help from both Cala and Serious Cricket.

Ed Pearson, project director of the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation, said that most teams in the country play without professional equipment, so the shirts will make a big difference.

He said: “Many of the players come from disadvantaged backgrounds and therefore affording playing gear, let alone sourcing it, is very difficult.

“These shirts will not only enable the White Clouds to play in suitable clothing, but will also allow them to present themselves as a united team, create a sense of pride among the players and hopefully see them to greater success.

“We are delighted with the support Cala, Sparsholt Cricket Club and Serious Cricket has shown the Foundation. Cricket is rapidly developing in Rwanda, but getting hold of playing equipment is a real problem.”

Earlier this year the developer agreed to sponsor Sparsholt, and Andy Worth, first team captain, said he is pleased to see the partnership flourish.

“It is fantastic that our partnership with Cala has already grown and that we can work together to support this unique project,” he said.

“Sparsholt Cricket Club is incredibly proud to be the first cricket club to be twinned with a Rwandan team in this way and hope that the shirts are just the first step to supporting the White Clouds.”

Construction at Barton Farm is due to start at the end of the year, and over the next ten will see 2,000 private and affordable homes, a primary school, community centre and sports pitches built.

Rob Westwood, Cala’s project director for Barton Farm, said: “As a national house-builder, we are committed to investing in the communities in which we build and, with a 10 year build programme at Barton Farm, we are sure this is just the first of many projects we can work together on.”