THE quest by an Oxford school to uncover the next England cricket star has been recognised with a national award at the home of the sport.

The Cherwell School was handed the Satellite Club of the Year Award at a ceremony at the Chance to Shine Annual Awards held at Lord's Cricket Ground in London.

The Summertown school's club was set up in 2013 by Nick Pinhol, who was a student there and a member of Wolvercote Cricket Club.

Since then a host of youngsters have transitioned from softball school cricket to playing for Wolvercote and more and more children have taken up cricket from a younger age.

England batsman Jason Roy, who attended the ceremony on November 2, said: "It was a fantastic evening celebrating the people whose commitment to cricket is helping to spread the game across the country.

"The winners have faced different challenges and overcome them to make sure that cricket remains an important part of young people's lives.

"Having been lucky enough to have played the game from a young age I know how important it is that as many children as possible get the same opportunity I did.

"Chance to Shine is providing vital support to the grassroots of the game and its work changes lives every day."

Children's cricket charity Chance to Shine is partly funded by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), which will double its annual donation to at least £2.5m from October 2017.

Part of its work involves encouraging clubs to forge links with a nearby school and set up a satellite club on site, as happened at The Cherwell School.

This is intended to begin a relationship that helps both sides, allowing the schools to benefit from expert coaching and equipment while the club has the chance to recruit a new generation of young cricketers.

The school's head of PE Neil Busby said: "The awards ceremony was a great evening.

"It was a real honour to receive this award and I'm so proud of all the work being done at the school.

"Huge thanks to the guys at Wolvercote CC and in particular Nick Pinhol who started the club and has really driven cricket at the school."

Chance to Shine has worked since 2005 – when England famously won a dramatic Ashes series – to reverse a perceived decline of cricket in state schools.

Since then it has worked with 12,000 schools and more than three million young people, about half of them girls.

The charity's chief executive Luke Swanson said: "Our goal is to inspire young people to play and learn through cricket and The Cherwell School satellite club is a shining example of that.

"We have huge admiration for the outstanding work that Neil, Nick and the pupils have done and will continue to do and we are proud beyond words to be associated with them."