Three stars of Yorkshire and England cricket turned out at Headingley to help launch the 2015 Drax Cup and urge more primary and junior schools across the region to take part.
Bowling legend Ryan Sidebottom and emerging all-rounder Will Rhodes are newly appointed ambassadors for the competition.
They joined Ashes-winning fast bowler Katherine Brunt to lead a practice session and matches with school children from current cup holders, Shawlands Primary in Barnsley and Camblesforth Primary in Selby.
Ryan said: “We’re delighted to get involved with the Drax Cup, which is a fantastic introduction to the thrill of playing competitive cricket and a great opportunity for youngsters to practice and improve their skills.”
Around 500 schools from across Yorkshire and Teesside registered last year for the Drax Cup, which is the biggest cricket competition for Under 9s in the UK.
The organisers are hoping that even more schools will sign up this year as the sport continues to enjoy a surge in popularity among younger players.
Peter Emery, group operations director at Drax said: “We are really pleased that Ryan and Will have agreed to join Katherine as ambassadors for the Drax Cup.
“Their profile and enthusiasm for the game will help inspire more young people to discover this fantastic sport and ensure the competition remains as strong as ever.”
School Sports Partnerships need to enter by Monday April 20 by completing the form on the competition website www.thedraxcup.co.uk
The competition begins after Easter and runs until July. Teams play in a series of events to produce four area winners.
These teams will play the finals at Headingley Cricket Ground on Friday July 10, before Yorkshire Vikings v Durham Jets in the NatWest T20 Blast.