£100,000 donation boosts university cricket

Cricket at the University of Exeter has been boosted by a £100,000 donation from an honorary graduate.

Sir Christopher Ondaatje’s gift to the Making the Exceptional Happen Campaign will be used to widen accessibility to surrounding schools and cricket clubs, and to support the development of talented male and female cricketers with elite-level training.

Sir Christopher said: “I am extremely proud to extend my association with the University of Exeter, and to support two of my great passions – education and cricket. It has been extremely gratifying to witness the success of the Devon Cricket Centre over the last decade and I hope my latest gift will extend opportunities for young people from all backgrounds to experience the sport.”

The Sir Christopher Ondaatje Devon Cricket Centre, a specialist four-lane indoor facility on the university’s Streatham Campus, opened in 2009 thanks to the generosity of Sir Christopher, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the Lord’s Taverners.

The centre is used by thousands of children from across the South West and hosts a variety of disability sport activity, including the finals of the South West Table Cricket Championships earlier this year.

Alison Davidson, the university’s Director of Sport, said: “We extend our sincere thanks to Sir Christopher for his ongoing support. We offer cricket opportunities to a wide demographic of students and non-students alike and we look forward to continuing to encourage participation at all levels of the game. Sir Christopher’s gift will enable the University to build on our existing successes in cricket and have even greater impact.”

Director of Global Advancement Dr Shaun Curtis said: “Sir Christopher Ondaatje has been a tremendous benefactor of sport in Exeter and the South West of England.  On behalf of the University I would like to express my appreciation to him for his continued vision, support and generosity.”