THE man at the heart of making cricket more accessible in Yorkshire has finally decided to put down his bat at the age of 73 - and he’s been bowled over by the support he’s received.

Mac McKechnie, of Monk Bretton, came up with the idea of walking cricket in late 2018 after taking part in a walking football session at Barnsley’s U3A group.

That wasn’t for him, but he’s always had a soft spot for cricket and decided to set up the first club in Yorkshire - and has received the backing of Yorkshire Cricket Club.

He told the Chronicle: “From a concept idea in late 2018, to the magnificent game now played all over Yorkshire in particular, but also nationwide.

“It has been great fun and I have made many firm friends along the way.

“It started because I tried walking football but I didn’t enjoy it.

“As an ex-cricketer I thought it would be a good idea to set up a walking cricket club.

“We got Yorkshire Cricket Club involved and it’s gradually built up to teams across the county - and now it’s even played throughout the country.”

But Mac, now 73, said it’s finally time for him to put down the bat.

“It is not because I am fed up with the game or bored - far from it, but simply put, my mobility issues prevent me playing the game I love,” he added.

“There has been several accolades and awards along the way, but none compare with the simple friendships that exist amongst the walking cricket fraternity, particularly within Bu3a in the weekly sessions that happen all year round.

“I have left the group in safe hands, with Kate Mason and Ian Lodge taking over as joint coordinators.”