Vandals dig holes in cricket pitch

MINDLESS vandals dug large holes in the middle of a pristine cricket pitch in a Suffolk market town.

Elliot Furniss

MINDLESS vandals dug large holes in the middle of a pristine cricket pitch in a Suffolk market town.

The criminals struck at Stowmarket Cricket Club in Chilton Way at some point between Thursday evening and Saturday morning.

Club captain Kevin Holland, 28, said the ground's 13 strips were cordoned off at the time of the attack but someone had intentionally taken tools to the site to carry out the damage.

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Mr Holland said it was the second time in less than a year that thousands of pounds of damage had been caused to club property.

He said: “At some point between Thursday nightfall and Saturday morning, someone has come up to the club with spades and rakes and dug gouges in the centre of the cricket pitch.

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“We have 13 pitches and the damage has affected about five.

“We do have county matches up there and it's a county-standard pitch and we spend �2,000 to �3,000 a year maintaining it.

“We had our nets vandalised on Christmas Eve last year - they had only just been put up at a cost of �6,000. All the frames were kicked out of the ground but that was random - this was targeted.”

Mr Holland, who has played for the club for more than 15 years, said he had “no idea” why someone would want to dig up the strips and cause so much damage.

He said: “When you have got a lush surface it's like a carpet which is now full of holes - really big divots.

“I have spoken to the chairman and the groundsman and we can't get our heads round it. We really haven't got any idea as to who did it.”

The holes have now been filled in and club staff are hopeful that the vandalism will not have a lasting effect on the quality of the site.

Mr Holland said the possibility of installing CCTV cameras around the site was now being looked into in a bid to prevent any more damage being done

A police spokesman said the vandalism was being investigated and anyone with information about the incident could speak to members of the Crime Investigation Bureau on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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