It’s pitch perfect, but not one ball has been bowled on it so far this season. Long Ditton Cricket Club’s ground at Stokes Field off Betts Way is looking tip-top, the cricketers are raring to go but everyone is waiting for the government and the sport’s governing body, the ECB, to decide on when they
It’s pitch perfect, but not one ball has been bowled on it so far this season.
Long Ditton Cricket Club’s ground at Stokes Field off Betts Way is looking tip-top, the cricketers are raring to go but everyone is waiting for the government and the sport’s governing body, the ECB, to decide on when they can stand at the crease again any time soon.
The situation is especially disappointing for the club who were promoted last season to the Surrey Championship.
However head of grounds Matthew Baker, pictured, has been making sure that when they get the green light the Hogs, as they are affectionately known, will be ready for action! He and a small team who live close to the club have been working in social distancing shifts to make sure the facilities are championship-worthy.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic looked certain to cause a halt to the 2020 cricket season and subsequent lockdown, I decided to assemble an LDCC COVID-19 action team comprising of myself and a handful of passionate LDCC members fortunate to be able to live close to the cricket club,” explained Matthew who said a fundraising campaign which had surpassed its £7,000 target in 48 hours had been a major factor in helping to maintain the club.
“We decided on a rota system to comply with government guidelines on social distancing and restrictions on limited access outside of the house, working in shifts, to ensure that the cricket club was kept in ‘tip top’ condition, including grass cutting, strimming, hedge trimming, internal decorating [of the clubhouse] and net maintenance among other activities so that once we receive the green light from the Government and ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) that Long Ditton CC would be in the best possible position to commence playing cricket again, this time in the Surrey Championship.
“To date, I’m confident that we are in the position to play cricket as soon as it is safe to do so. There’s still a lot of hours that need to be put in, but once we get the green light for cricket, The Hogs will be ready!” he said.
LDCC committee member James Mumford said: “We are hopeful of timescales for play to commence when we are given dates by the ECB. As you can see the ground is in great nick currently, thanks to outstanding efforts from Matt Baker and several other members of the club.”