NEW Brighton Cricket Club has announced a partnership with rapidly-growing Wirral-based sportswear brand Castore.

According to the Rake Lane outfit, the focus of the partnership will be around "improving the club infrastructure, facilities and coaching set up to help drive our rapid growth of junior cricket and establish a women’s section".

Castore, which was formed by the Bebington brothers, Tom and Phil Beahon, in 2015, recently become the official kit supplier to England's cricket teams and has also recently announced partnerships with Premier League football clubs Wolverhampton Wanderers and Newcastle United.

Both brothers are well-versed in Wirral's grass roots sports scene with Tom playing youth football for Tranmere Rovers and Phil concentrating on cricket, playing for Oxton and New Brighton.

New Brighton's cricket chairman, Adam Neal, said: "We are absolutely delighted to welcome Castore to our NBCC family for the next three years.

"As part of becoming the official kit supplier to England Cricket, Castore is giving back to grassroots cricket as part of the 'Inspiring a Generation' programme.

"The programme in question, launched by the ECB in 2020, lays out a five-year strategic plan intending to connect communities, current and future generations through cricket.

"With growth seen within the junior section of New Brighton Cricket Club in 2021, as well as plans to restart the All-Stars initiative and reform the women’s cricket section in 2022, the club is showing proactivity in its aims to bring inclusivity and opportunity to cricket within Merseyside.

"We are privileged to be associated with a company such as Castore and I am personally very excited to see what the future holds – watch this space!"

On the pitch, the club have also recently announced the signing of former Lancashire player Owais Shah for the forthcoming season.

Glasgow-born Shah, 23, was released by Lancashire last year without making a first class outing for the Red Rose, but was a regular for the second XI over the past three seasons, making 26 appearances in all formats.

A former Scotland Under-19 international, the batter scored 133 runs in six appearances for his country’s age-group side.

A spokesperson for New Brighton said: "We are delighted to announce the signing of left handed opening bat Owais Shah.

"Owais has a wealth of experience playing for both Lancashire and Scotland U19.

"We are very excited to watch him play at Rake Lane and wish him all the best for the upcoming season."