CRICKETERS from Wiltshire and beyond are rallying to raise cash for a promising young player with Trowbridge Cricket Club who has suffered serious injuries after a head-on car crash in Australia.

Friends, relatives, players and supporters throughout the cricketing world are donating funds to help Billy Cookson, 23, from Chippenham, make a good recovery.

A fundraising campaign has already netted over £1,690 towards a £5,000 target and Trowbridge CC is to hold an event at 7pm on Friday, November 23 at the County Ground.

The Trowbridge CC and Wiltshire CC wicketkeeper and middle order batsman was seriously injured after crashing into a bus near Gunbower on the Murray Valley Highway on Friday, October 26.

Mr Cookson, who started his cricketing career with Chippenham CC, had gone to Australia to play for Kyabram Cricket Club north of Melbourne.

Mr Cookson suffered head, chest, arm and leg injuries and was put into an induced coma on arrival at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. He has since undergone extensive surgery but is now said to be conscious and in a stable condition.

His parents, Matthew and Tracy Cookson immediately flew out to Australia to be by his side.

Tom Weaver, the 1st X1 captain of Trowbridge CC and one of Mr Cookson’s best friends, said: “It’s a complete shock. Billy is the heart and soul of the team. We’re all hoping he makes a full recovery.”

Mr Cookson is a former pupil of Hardenhuish School and played junior cricket for Chippenham CC and football for Corsham Town FC before joining Trowbridge CC.

He later studied at SGS Filton Academy in Bristol and Leeds Beckett University, where he played for the Carnegie Cricket team.

He later joined Trowbridge CC and Wiltshire CC, where he is regarded as a highly talented young player.

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