Gatting backs Chalfont initiative

Bucks Free Press: Cricket club urge community to help them beat Mother Nature Cricket club urge community to help them beat Mother Nature

CHALFONT St Peter Cricket Club are urging the community to come down and help them beat Mother Nature as the excitement of the new season takes over.

Next month will see the 13th annual NatWest CricketForce take place with Chalfont St Peter one of a record-breaking 2,014 clubs registered to participate.

This weekend thousands will come together to clean, tidy, repair and revitalise clubhouses and grounds in time for the new season.

Chalfont St Peter will be among that number tomorrow as it calls on support to get its home ground back into shape after it suffered storm damage during the winter.

And club secretary Matthew Stevenson insists with help from NatWest CricketForce the bad winter weather won’t hinder their plans for the new season.

Stevenson said: “Unfortunately we lost the clubhouse roof during the winter storms, so we won’t be doing anything on that because that’s all scafolded up and flooded.

“The ground will be OK, it has taken a lot of water but it will be fine. We were hoping that the insurance money for the clubhouse would be with us before the start of the season.

“But that’s looking increasingly unlikely. We’re looking at using portacabins instead and the whole thing is affecting the finances of the club in the short term.

“I think the main task on the day will be the renovation of our sightscreens. It’s something that should be done every year but we seem to have neglected them for a while.”

The scheme is supported by former England captain and current ECB Managing Director of Cricket Partnerships Mike Gatting.

Gatting, who played 79 Tests and 92 ODIs for England, said: “It is wonderful news that a record-breaking number of clubs have already registered to hold a NatWest CricketForce event.

“In particular, the challenges presented by the nationwide floods at the start of this year, means that the 2014 effort is more important than ever before. “Cricket clubs across the country represent the lifeblood of the sport, and it is hugely important that we all pull together and look after playing facilities.”

NatWest CricketForce is an ECB project helping cricket clubs renovate and improve their facilities before each season with the help of members and their wider communities.

Go to http://ecb.co.uk/nwcf

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