Dad builds lockdown bowling machine using golf trolley for cricket-mad son

A man in Kent has built a bowling machine for his son using parts from his shed during the coronavirus lockdown.

With government guidelines restricting people's movement outside, Phil Alger's son Elliott, 18, was bored with no school and no prospect of a game of cricket.

"He lives and breathes cricket and if he can't go out to the park he'd be out the back garden throwing a ball up against the wall," Mr Alger, 55, told the PA news agency.

"That gets a bit monotonous after a while."

A bowling machine was required to at least give Elliott a chance to bat some tennis balls around the garden, and Mr Alger, who formerly had his own engineering company, was equal to the task.

"I thought 'right, OK, I like a challenge,'" he said.

With plenty of wood lying about after a shed clear-out, Mr Alger put a golf trolley and an electric drill to good use to create his machine.

While the drill offers various speeds, Elliott simply pulls on a piece of rope, and the ball is released.

The video has racked up tens of thousands of views on Facebook, while Mr Alger said his son was impressed with his creation.

And while the machine will be the envy of cricket fans all over the world, Mr Alger was keen to send a message that people can have fun by staying at home during lockdown.

"You don't have to go round the park and hit the ball for someone to pick up and throw it back to you," he said.

"We've been on lockdown three weeks and I'm pretty serious that I don't want him (Elliott) going out of the house.

"It's just trying to keep him in the house, keep him not bored so to speak.

"Anything to keep people at home is the message."