A group of almost 50 Afghan refugees watched their nation play in the cricket World Cup for free thanks to the efforts of a club in Thornton Heath.

Harshil Trivedi, who founded Thornton Heath cricket club, had the ambitious goal of arranging for local Afghan refugees to see their team play live in this summer's tournament, which is currently taking place in England and Wales.

He presented his case directly to the tournament's managing director, Steve Elworthy, by email, and to his surprise received an immediate response.

Two months later, he was offered 48 tickets to see Afghanistan vs South Africa on June 15, heading down to Cardiff with a group of refugees UK support networks put him in contact with.

"I have always wanted to help the members of the community who had the passion but were challenged by socio-economic and cultural barriers to watching live cricket," Mr Trivedi said.

"So when the world cup was coming to the UK and I had a platform to help the disadvantaged young people in my area, I thought it was a no-brainer to try and set something up."

Nowhere near enough Afghanis were members of his club when he received the World Cup's offer, so Mr Trivedi reached out to charities Refugee Cricket Project, Lingua House Refugee Project and Beats Learning to boost numbers.

With further help from Croydon Voluntary Action and Chevy Green (Surrey Cricket Foundation), he was able to cover the cost of the coach journeys to Wales.

"The day was amazing," Mr Trivedi said.

"We managed to get a full game in the end and the boys were cheering with fellow Afghanistan fans and getting selfies with players from both sides as well as talking to their heroes.

"The refugees were thoroughly ecstatic while walking into the stadium and social media sharing was rife!"

With the help of a close friend, Mr Trivedi founded Thornton Heath Cricket Club in 2007, which has slowly grown into a recognised coaching provider for children and young adults.

Two new members signed on the day of the match, and since he was interviewed live on TV, Mr Trivedi says he has been inundated with phone calls from parents keen for their sons and daughters to join.

Given the success of his ambitious outing, Mr Trivedi has his sights set on a trip to South London's Oval in the near future and even to the 2023 World Cup in India "if the support it there."

To learn more about Thornton Heath cricket club visit: