A LACK of players has forced Brandon Cricket Club to fold. After several seasons struggling to field a side, things came to a head this month when the club was unable to play its opening Hunts County Bats League fixture.
With only five players available, the club had no option but to call off the fixture at Nowton Academy and, following an emergency meeting, has withdrawn from the league and folded.
Mike Roberts, a former player who tends the cricket square at Brandon Recreation Ground for the club, said: “It’s been a problem for several years. It’s proved increasingly difficult to get teams out on a regular basis, and we have had to call games off in the past. We almost didn’t play last season.
“We felt it was unfair to other clubs in the league to keep calling games off, and we also face a fine if we call off. With no money coming in from the players, the club could not afford to pay fines as well.”
Following a meeting of Brandon’s playing fields committee on Monday, Mr Roberts will continue to keep the cricket square up to scratch this year so it can be available for friendlies or league cricket again in the future.
“There is no cost involved in that,” he said. “All the cost came over the winter when we were getting the pitch ready. After this year money would have to be spent.
“The committee were very supportive, and happy for me to continue to look after the ground this year. They are a good group of people, doing their best for Brandon, and gave me everything I could have wished for in support.
“I will still tend the wicket, and if anyone wants to start up the club again next season there will be something in place. I suppose that in the club’s death throes we can only try to breathe a bit of life into it.”
Brandon started in Division Four of the league and at their peak reached Division One for a couple of seasons as well as winning the League Cup. This season they were due to play in Division Five. In the past, the club has run teams on both Saturdays and Sundays.
Club secretary Christine Clark, whose husband and sons played for the club in the past, said the club’s equipment was being stored. If anyone decided to set up a team in the future it would be available for them to use.
The club is hoping that the Rec might be used to play friendlies this season. Anyone interested, or looking to start up a new club, should contact Mike Roberts on 07786 266417.