CRICKETERS from Wiltshire and beyond are rallying to raise cash for a promising young player from Chippenham 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 raised more than £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 in Victoria on October 26.

Mr Cookson, who started his cricketing career with Chippenham CC and also played football for Corsham Town FC, 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 andis now said to be conscious and in a stable condition.

His parents, Matthew and Tracy Cookson, have flown out to Australia after hearing the bad news and are still at his bedside.

Lee Ward, the 1st X1 captain of Chippenham Cricket Club, said: “I’m sure everyone connected to the club will join us in sending best wishes and positive thoughts to Billy Cookson for a speedy recovery in Australia.”

Mr Cookson is a former pupil of Hardenhuish School and played junior cricket for Chippenham CCbefore studying at SGS Filton Academy and Leeds Beckett University, where he played for the Carnegie Cricket team.

He later joined Trowbridge CC and was selected for the Wiltshire side, where he is regarded as a highly talented young player. To donate, go to to