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Talking Points - News From This Angle

Blaze damages Bradford pavilion

ANOTHER cricket club has had its pavilion seriously damaged by fire, with arson being suspected. Riddlesden CC, in Bradford, face the prospect of rebuilding after Keighley and Bingley fire fighters fought a blaze for an hour on Monday mornin.

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Some of the stone pavilion was saved after a police officer raised the alarm when he saw smoke at about 6am, according to the Bradford Telegraph & Argus . The pavilion was well alight by the time the first fire fighters arrived. Nassir Kamal, a member, said the family club was devastated by the event. "We’ve had one or two minor bits of vandalism before, but nothing like this has ever happened," he said.

Posted by Charlie Randall
22/09/2010 11:12:37

Young cricketer found hanged

A YOUNG club cricketer was found hanging from a tree in Sheffield early on Saturday morning on Sept 18 after his best season with the bat for Bawtry.

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Shocked club members paid tribute to Daniel Mothersdale, 21, in the Sheffield Star after his death in Green Park was announced. A trainee quantity surveyor, he was described in the club's website as a talented batsman who spent time coaching youth players and "enriched the lives" of many people at Bawtry CC.

The club's treasurer Paul Warren said: "It is clearly a massive shock to his family and everyone at the club. I don't really know what has happened. Daniel joined us when he was about 12 and, along with many others, I had the privilege of playing with him. He was a fine cricketer and a fine young man. He spent a lot of his time helping coach the junior players and he will be greatly missed. He was a very, very talented young man, and the many tributes I have received over the weekend reflect that."

Posted by Charlie Randall
22/09/2010 10:59:17

Thieves dig holes in Orsett pitches

THE Essex club Orsett has had its pitches spoilt by holes dug with garden tools probably stolen from a nearby school shed, the Thurrock Gazette has reported.

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Vandals caused more than £2,000 of damage, digging 14 areas of the cricket square during the night when a break-in was reported by the next-door Orsett Church of England Primary School - which is next door to the cricket pitch.

Vice-chairman of the Orsett club, Graham Tidman, said: "We are all very upset about this. It's going to cost a lot of money to put it right. Every single one of the strips on the square has been damaged -- it's mindless. We have up to 70 kids down here each Friday night, and we usually have games Saturday and Sunday.

Thurrock police confirmed the break-in at the school and added: "A fork and a spade were stolen and a trail was discovered to the cricket pitch. The turf was dug up. A considerable amount of damage has been caused and we need the public's help to identify those responsible."

Posted by Charlie Randall
24/06/2010 10:41:48

Limavady CC ruined by weedkiller

THE cricket square of a club in Northern Ireland has been destroyed by vandals with dire financial consequences. Limavady CC, in County Londonderry, will be unable to host matches this summer after weedkiller was poured on to their pitches, killing all the grass.

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Club chairman Ivan Lapsley said the repair bill for the grass would be about £5,000 and he added: "It has dire consequences for the club financially because we would rely on the income from home games. They are now going to be played away from home, so we won't have any income for three or four months."

Until this setback Limavady had been playing their matches away in any case during work to improve the grounds and facilities, funded by a Sports Council grant. "We're almost halfway through the season and we've been playing all our games away from home because the outfield hadn't been in proper condition," Lapsley said. "But now that it's ready we've been upset by this mindless vandalism."

Posted by Charlie Randall
24/06/2010 10:40:53

Romans hold sway at Musselburgh

ROMAN altar stones dating back almost 2,000 years have delayed work at a cricket pavilion in Musselburgh.

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The BBC reported that after the discovery of these ancient relics and other artefacts -- described as the most significant find of their kind in the past 100 years -- renovations were put on hold while archaeologists surveyed the area.

George Findlater, senior inspector of ancient monuments at Historic Scotland, said: "The stones have carvings and quite possibly inscriptions which can have a wealth of information on them, a lot of data about the people and their religion at that time." At least one of the altars is from the 2nd Century and is dedicated to the Roman God Jupiter.

Councillor Paul McLennan, a member of theEast Lothian Council, said: "The discovery of these remains is particularly exciting as it is not often that Roman altar stones are discovered during an archaeological excavation in Scotland. This helps with the emerging picture of life in and around the Roman fort at Inveresk during the second century."

Posted by Charlie Randall
26/04/2010 11:58:58

Battered Dubai builds club grounds

DUBAI is still building recreational cricket grounds, despite the appalling recession in the Gulf emirate. The first all-turf ground at Al Dhaid Sports Village was officially inaugurated during the Afghanistan versus Saudi Arabia match of the ACC Twenty20 Cup by the father of cricket in the United Arab Emirates, Abdulrahman Bukhatir.

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Al Dhaid, with seven grounds in total, was first started in November 2006 and its artificial pitches have been operational for two years. The grass pitch has taken six months to complete, and apart from a slightly uneven outfield, it is apparently in perfect playing condition.

The four-acre site, 40 miles outside the Dubai metropolis, has been a personal project for Emirates Cricket Board administrator, Mazhar Khan. "There was and is a constant need for cricket pitches considering the level of activity in the UAE," said Khan. The ground at Al Dhaid will also host the MCC and a Bangladesh Port Cricket League next year.

Bukhatir, the television tycoon behind Dubai Sports City said: "Even though sports infrastructure projects are not profit-making centres, the purpose of a multi-sport project like this at Al Dhaid is to give youngsters a chance to play, get noticed and get ahead. It takes people, organisations and institutions for support and this is what we are hoping for the future. And we hope it benefits the society in Dubai and the whole world."

"The business plan has not been worked out for this, we are still in the process of forming a same. Al Dhaid is just starting, but like the youngsters who will play here, it is full of promise. There are enough grounds here to have major tournaments at any point of time," he added.

Posted by Charlie Randall
30/11/2009 18:39:41

Devon captain Edwards dies at 58

THE former Devon captain Hiley Edwards, has died at the age of 58 after many years of ill health.

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He was a stylish Torquay left-hander batsman and athletic fielder who led Devon to their first cup final at Lord's in 1991, a defeat by Staffordshire and his final game in an 18-year career with the county he loved. He started his club career with Cockington Corinthians before moving to Torquay and finally Paignton at the end of his county days. In 17 seasons with Torquay he scored more than 16,000 runs, captaining for four years. He made 86 Minor Counties Championship appearances.

Posted by Charlie Randall
11/11/2009 12:05:21

League veteran dies at the crease

A VETERAN cricketer died at the crease of a suspected heart attack during a game in Yarmouth last Saturday afternoon.

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The Norwich Evening News reported that Tony Gregory, the president of Drayton Cricket Club and the treasurer of the Lucas Fettes Norfolk Cricket League, was batting for Drayton A in a Division Four game against Great Yarmouth A when he complained of feeling unwell and collapsed. Players rushed to his aid, and attempts were made at resuscitation without success.

Mr Gregory, 62, had an association with Drayton Cricket Club stretching back 26 years. He was club chairman from 1995 until 2002 and took over as club president in 2003.

Tim Porter, secretary of Norfolk Cricket League said: "We were very saddened to hear what had happened. I received a text saying Tony had died while batting. He had said to the bowler to hang on because he didn't feel too well and then he collapsed."

Mr Porter said Mr Gregory, who used to run badge and emblem engravers Gregory Engraving in Norwich, had previously been taken ill in a game against Felthorpe and, for a while, had switched to umpiring games.

But he said: "He lived for his cricket and his family knew he was nuts about it. He was a genuinely nice guy and this is a sad loss for cricket in Norfolk."

Posted by Charlie Randall
05/08/2009 12:19:29

James Hockley hits incredible 283

THE Kent batsman James Hockley has no great hopes of breaking into the championship side even after smashing the Kent League individual record with an innings of 283 not out for Hartley last weekend.

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Hockley, 30, signed for Kent this season on a one-year contract. He was released seven years ago, having not produced the runs to match his obvious talent, though at club level he remains a daunting prospect for bowlers.

On a baking day he helped Hartley to a record score of 540 for one from only 55 overs on the way to a 340-run win. He set the highest individual score in the Kent League in the highest total to date, and there were two record partnerships of 261 for the first wicket and 279 for the second.

"It was just one of those days where everything goes for you and it was good fun," he said in an interview with BBC Radio Kent. "I got my hundred in the 24th over and thought to myself that if I really wanted to go on here, I could actually get myself a big, big score. It was the highest score I've ever got, so I suppose I would put it down as my best innings."

When he left Kent, Hockley became a sports teacher at Marlborough House, a private school in Hawkhurst, and they agreed to give him leave to take the second opportunity. He last featured in the Championship in the win over Glamorgan in May and said he was not pressurising himself to break back into the first team. "Our first team at the moment is so strong, it's incredible. It's going to be so hard for me to break into that team, with so many international players in that side, but if I can keep scoring runs, you just don't know - you might get that call-up."

Posted by Charlie Randall
08/07/2009 17:12:56

Valley End aiming higher than village

VALLEY END have confirmed they will not be defending their Npower National Village Cup title this summer.

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The ambitious Surrey Championship club, with big plans for the future, say they are intending to hire a professional player this year, which would render them ineligible for the village competition. They beat Woodhouse Grange, from York, in the final at Lord's last year.  The club has already started building two new grounds adjacent to their existing venue near Chobham. The new rules of the village competition have reduced entries from more than 450 to about 260 for 2009.

Posted by Charlie Randall
22/03/2009 18:14:14
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