Ashes winner Paul Collingwood was on hand to meet youngsters competing at the annual Bunbury Cricket Festival.

The under-15 tournament is being hosted at Durham University for its 27th edition, and many England internationals have participated in it during their teens.

It is the first time in over 30 years that the prestigious event on the English cricketing calendar has been hosted in the North East.

Competing teams comprise of English regions: London and East, South and West, the Midlands and the North. All teams will be full of youngsters keen to earn themselves one of 10 places on England's national development program that are available.

Durham captain Collingwood himself played in the festival back in 1991, and still fondly remembers the experience, saying: "I remember it was my first sense of real achievement, actually getting into the regional side and playing in a festival like this.

"It's certainly a great experience going away with a team for the first time, and competing in what is a very high-pressure tournament."

Other former participants include current Ashes stars such as: Alistair Cook, James Anderson and Joe Root, and the current teen hopefuls will want to emulate their heroes.


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James Anderson
Joe Root