CRICKET: DEREK Jarvis believes the Southend Cricket Festival will again be a huge success this summer, writes Chris Phillips.

Jarvis, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Executive Council-lor for Culture and Tourism, has remained fully behind top class cricket coming to the town.

And he hopes this year’s festival can eventually persuade Essex to soon return to Garon Park.

“I’m sure the festival will be really successful and we hope it can create an opportunity for Essex to come back in future years when they start to think about their programme again,” said Jarvis.

“Essex had their own good reasons for what they did and our complaint at the time was there was no dialogue but that’s all water under the bridge now.

“We’re actually grateful for their help in us being able to put the festival on again after we demonstrated how serious we were about the festival to them.”

As was revealed in yesterday’s Echo, Unicorns — who are a team of young players aspiring to make it in the professional game — will be playing two CB40 matches in the space of three days in Southend.

Their first clash comes against Sussex on Sunday, June 3, before they face Kent two days later.

And Jarvis believes it will be a perfect way to finish the Jubilee Weekend celebrations.

“We’re hoping that people will be having street parties to celebrate the Jubilee and that the cricket can add an extra dimension to that now,” said Jarvis.

“I’m absolutely delighted with how things have worked out and Mike Smith and Neil Harding deserve real credit for the hard work they’ve put in.

“We’ve also remained 100 per cent behind the festival all the way through and it’s going to be a very big weekend which I’m sure will also be well supported by cricket fans in our local area.”