A village cricket club has been banned from its home ground because it refused to stop using traditional leather-covered balls on the pitch when councillors claimed they are too dangerous.
Bacton Cricket Club in Norfolk has been told it can only use the British standard balls inside practice nets and not on the field, although it has done so for 37 years.
The new health and safety ruling has been drawn up by Bacton Parish Council amid fears that members of the public could be injured by stray balls.
But club officials refuse to accept the new rules governing the use of the Cubitt Memorial Playing Field in Bacton.
David Gale, the club chairman, said the clubs will move to a new base at nearby North Walsham High School. He said: “We are a cricket team — how are we supposed to practice without cricket balls? Are they expecting us to use tennis balls instead?”
It means that club cricket will no longer be played in the village and Bacton Cricket Club, established in 1934, will disappear. The club, which plays in the Norfolk Cricket League Division Six, will be renamed North Walsham Cricket Club.
The parish council refuses to back down, despite villagers signing a petition in support of the cricket club.
The new rules for the use of the field state: “Batting or bowling practice with a cricket ball or other solid or semi-solid practice ball must only take place inside the batting cage [nets]. Under no circumstances may this take place elsewhere.”
Council clerk Elaine Pugh said the rule was drawn up to satisfy insurers’ demands and protect people at the nearby bowls club, children on the play area and others who used the facilities during the week.
Mrs Pugh said there had been a couple of near misses in which people had almost been hit by cricket balls, and added that the club had been written to 12 times, seeking confirmation that they would agree to the rules.
The council agreed last week that the club’s behaviour was “unacceptable” and banned it for the rest of the season. But it said that the ruling could be reversed if the club complied with the regulations.
Bacton Cricket Club honorary treasurer Ramone Stringer said: “The parish council kept coming up with rules and regulations.
“This has been bubbling up for a long while. They wanted all our players to sign the rules and regulations, but they weren’t happy.
“They said they didn’t have the fixtures in time, and that the insurance details weren’t up in the pavilion.
“It’s very sad for Bacton, which should always have a cricket club. But we’re 99.9pc certain to move to North Walsham High School and change our name.
“The move will probably pay off, because North Walsham should have a cricket club and it will attract youngsters to play.”
I'm not condoning Taylor, i think what he has done has brought shame on the club. But hopefully when the charge is handed out next week it draws a line under it.
ABH is a huge relief, rather than GBH. From what I've seen and heard, ABH isn't much more than just having a scrap and should lead to a non-custodial sentance. I know they were initially pushing GBH so it's definitely good news that, this has been downgraded in severity.
I hope it does just turn out to be a genuine mistake and he learns from it.
Everyone has made mistakes when they are drunk, given a choice between Taylor having a drunken fight, and Chopra fixing the outcomes over a period of time of sporting events - I know which one is less severe in my eyes for a professional sportsman and should be looked upon with more scorn.
On the face of it, what is there to disagree with about signing Reece Brown – young, schooled at Manchester United, capped for England at youth level, even representing his country at the U20 World Cup two years ago.
...we will be playing one of the following now the seeding is done:
Non seeds - south
18. AFC Wimbledon 19. Bristol Rovers 20. Cheltenham Town 21. Colchester United 22. Coventry City 23. Dagenham and Redbridge 24. Exeter City 25. Gillingham 26. Newport County 27. Northampton Town 28. Oxford United 29. Plymouth Argyle 30. Portsmouth 31. Southend United 32. Stevenage 33. Torquay United 34. Wycombe Wanderers