Legends of Warwickshire County Cricket Club are supporting the next generation of Bears, having raised £1,000 to support the upcoming Academy tour of Sri Lanka.

Departing for Columbo on 17 February, the Bears return to Sri Lanka for an eight-day training camp, which members of the Warwickshire Old County Cricketers’ Association (WOCCA) have fundraised for through its annual golf day and other associated fundraising.

“We stage three WOCCA events throughout the year and we try to use our activity to help raise funds to support the development of our young cricketers,” said former Bears off-spinning all-rounder and treble-winner Neil Smith, who chairs WOCCA.

“The opportunity to tour Sri Lanka and play in such different conditions will be invaluable to the development of these young cricketers and, as former Bears, we’re proud to be making a contribution to the future of our Club.”

As part of the tour of Sri Lanka, the young Bears will play three fixtures, with the party led by High Performance Manager Paul Greetham and pathway coaches Richard Jones, Tharidnu Perera and Faisal Shahid.

“This is our fifth visit to Sri Lanka in seven years,” said Greetham. “It always produces tough cricket, training and conditions, and the players are hugely privileged to be able to go and learn from local players, teams and conditions.

“We want to give our young cricketers the best possible opportunity to reach the professional game. Taking them overseas to experience pitches and climates that are unfamiliar, presents a very exciting challenge and they will learn and develop a huge amount from this.”