Stowmarket: Cricket club defiant on pitch vandalism

STAFF at a cricket club have said they are determined not to let vandals ruin the start to their season.

The pitch at Chilton Fields in Stowmarket has been targeted again by yobs who have dug holes in the wicket and also pushed over a marquee.

Stowmarket Cricket Club honorary secretary Clive Witherly said that everyone connected with the club was determined to move on and help the police track down those responsible for the “mindless” crime.

The vandals struck overnight on Sunday but a similar crime was committed in November. A trowel, thought to have been stolen from a shop, was recovered at the scene.

Mr Witherly, also the club groundsman, said the pitch would be repaired in time for action this weekend when the Sunday side takes on Mellis.

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He said: “Having successfully hosted Suffolk Ladies versus Suffolk U17 Ladies on Sunday at a warm and very pleasant Chilton Fields, vandals struck overnight destroying a marquee and again digging up the pitch.

“With youth coaching commencing and the league season starting next weekend the timing of this mindless act is not ideal, but Stowmarket Cricket Club are determined to carry on and work with the police and other partners to catch those responsible.”

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The club has sides competing in the Two Counties Championship and the Hunts Suffolk Cricket League. It also has a midweek side and youth teams playing in the Ipswich and District League.

Mr Witherly added: “Fortunately they had only dug up one part of the pitch. I think the ground was too hard for them in other places.

“We do it for the community and for the youngsters who want to play cricket - the last thing we want is to be hindered by mindless acts of vandalism.”

A police spokesman confirmed the matter was being investigated and officers were keen to hear from anyone who may have seen the vandalism.

Any witnesses can contact Pc Barry Abbott of the Stowmarket Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team on 01473 613500.

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