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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Cricket club is back home after players pitched in to fix ground

Cricketers have celebrated a return to their home ground near Keswick after it was destroyed by floods two years ago.

Players and supporters of Threlkeld Cricket Club gathered on the new pitch on Sunday for the first time, al though the first game won’t be played for a few weeks yet.

The village club’s ground, in the shadow of Blencathra, was destroyed when hundreds of tonnes of stone and waste spilled across the pitch after a storm filled a neighbouring culvert and caused it to flood.

But rather than take their bat home and hang up their whites, members from Threlkeld went in search of an alternative place to play – and the sport of Extreme Cricket was born.

Venues included mountain tops and under water, with images of the games being used in a fund-raising calendar to help fix their ground.

The bad weather hit the scenic club on Friday, June 22, 2012, causing it to cancel its annual summer dance.

The following day the team were stunned to see the level of devastation.

Threlkeld’s oldest first team player, David Jackson, 50, said: “Before the flood we had one of the best playing surfaces in Cumbria.

“It was heartbreaking to see the pitch – it was wrecked – and we didn’t know how we’d come up with the money to fix it.

“After the initial utter despair, someone suggested making a calendar of us playing cricket in extreme locations.

“Thankfully the very talented local photographer Stuart Holmes likes both cricket and adventure and he agreed to help.”

Richard Allen, club chairman, said: “The flood caused £90,000 worth of damage. At the time our bank balance stood at less than £1,000 and we were unable to claim on our insurance for the damage.

“We raised over £40,000 from the calendar, and the remaining money came from the English Cricket Board. Thanks to them we have returned our pitch to its pre-flood state in less than two years.”

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