Cricket club forced to close

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BADGER Hill Cricket Club has folded in the wake of a proposed house build of some 780 houses on their leased Dewsbury Road ground in Rastrick.

Cricket has been played on the ground for 125 years, with the majority of those with teams from the nearby New Road Methodist Church.

Now says retiring player-secretary Paul Carter, 58, the club has ceased to function as there are too many issues to consider when asking as in the past for an extended lease.

Badger Hill CC has three years left on the current agreement, but to look at investing funds they just haven’t got in updating equipment and changing rooms, and not sure of an extension, they have opted to draw stumps for good.

They have been members of the Arrow Self Drive Huddersfield Central League since 1988 and in recent times have enjoyed promotions and cup achievements for the first and second teams based at the nearby Sun Inn.

The owners of the field, and nearby land, are Cambridgeshire-based company Thornhill Estates who have appointed York-based company, Saville Estates to look after the project.

Long serving player and club official Nick Boyle said that previously Slaithwaite - based national company Carter Jonas dealt with the club and it was just a case then of asking for another ten years on the lease and they got the nod to continue.

“Now our leaseholders obviously mean big business and we understand they are in the throes of acquiring planning permission from Calderdale Council,” he added.

Mr Carter continued: “In the terms of the lease, either side has to give 12 months notice to curtail the agreement and we are exercising this right now as we haven’t any finances to repair the buildings and also purchase equipment that needs replacing.

“We held a meeting last Tuesday at the Sun Inn, where Tim and Sandra Craven have been marvellous hosts and only one member voted against the club folding in light of all the issues besetting us.

“Already there have been overtures from Halifax clubs Stainland, Greetland, Leymoor from our league and nearby Rastrick CC at Round Hill for our players.

“People have already questioned if the ground and surrounding land is not green belt, preventing building, but my understanding of it is that the area is formerly quarry land and once that has happened it becomes a brown field site.

“We haven’t any funds either to contest another avenue put to us in the fact we and New Road Methodists have played cricket and other sports on there for the 125 years and it should be classed now as a village green recreational area.

“In recent times we have also suffered from a lot of vandalism and the police and neighbours overlooking the ground have been very good in helping us to preserve a cricket club there.”

Badger Hill CC’s last gathering will be at the Sun Inn on a date to be arranged next month when they hold their final presentation evening for the 2012 season.