Sir Ian ‘Beefy’ Botham swapped cricket whites and open green fields for a metal cage yesterday, as he launched the nationwide campaign to bring Cage Cricket facilities to towns and cities across the UK.

The cricket legend watched as MPs and Prisons Minister Crispin Blunt did battle with young people from across London, in a cage erected in the Speaker’s Garden at the Houses of Parliament.

“We’re trying to bring in a raw version of the game of cricket that can be played anywhere,” said Sir Ian. “ You only need 6 people, you don’t need a load of expensive gear, it’s available to everyone in the community, and it will get bigger and bigger.”

Blunt said he was impressed by the trials of Cage Cricket in prisons and added his support to the campaign to make it a national sport.

“What’s good for the prison service is that it fits into the kind of spaces you have in prisons,” said Blunt. “There’s an exciting social ethic about this and I think there’s a big potential benefit for offenders and society as a whole.”

A Spacehive funding campaign, fronted by Sir Ian, will kick off in Portsmouth soon, where the Cage Cricket team is working towards building Britain’s first cage!

Check out his funding page here.