Historic village cricket club’s desperate plea to find £22,500 to avoid closure

Damaged nets at Abberton and District Cricket Club

Damaged nets at Abberton and District Cricket Club - Credit: Archant

A village cricket club founded almost 70 years ago is facing closure unless it can raise £22,500 in the next few weeks.

Damaged nets at Abberton and District Cricket Club

Damaged nets at Abberton and District Cricket Club - Credit: Archant

Abberton and District Cricket Club needs to have large 40ft-high nets around half of its pitch to protect neighbouring houses from well-struck balls in order to fulfil terms set down by its insurers.

However the existing nets, which are 20 years old, were damaged beyond repair in high winds earlier this month leaving the club with the large bill to replace them.

It has launched a fundraising appeal, which collected more than £1,000 within 48 hours of being set up.

Marc Fox, chairman, said the future of the club was in doubt if it was unable to fulfil its fixtures – with the season due to begin this weekend.

Mr Fox said: “We are unable to play cricket until it is sorted, and being a village club we have not got that sort of funds available.

“If we can’t play cricket it could be the end of the club, that’s how serious it has got.

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“We have had a fantastic response from other clubs, former players, and even some England cricket stars such as Alastair Cook and Darren Gough have retweeted our appeal, but we are still a fair way from our total. Even some of our youth members have donated some of their pocket money.

“Fortunately we have rearranged our first weekend’s fixtures and other clubs have been very understanding, which we really appreciate. We looked at playing elsewhere but that still costs us money to hire a pitch.

“We are also the only licensed facility in the village now the pub has shut, and residents come to use for a drink of an evening, so they won’t have anywhere to go if we shut. Unfortunately we won’t be able to survive on the bar takings alone.

“It would be devastating for us if we had to close.

“If any business wants to sponsor us that would be great.”

The club, which officially founded in 1947, currently runs four men’s teams, a ladies’ team and has around 60 youth members.

Committee members are also looking to apply for grants, but these are often given subject to the club’s own fundraising success.

To see how you can support the club visit its appeal website or donate at the club’s JustGiving page.

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