Cricket club urges community to help revitalise cliubhouse

Ampthill Town 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 Ampthill Town - one of a record-breaking 2,014 clubs registered to participate.

From Friday April 4 to Sunday April 6, thousands will come together to clean, tidy, repair and revitalise clubhouses and grounds in time for the new season.

Ampthill Town will be among that number on April 5 as it calls on support to get its home ground on Woburn Road back into shape for the start of the season.

And club treasurer Ian Smith insists with help from NatWest CricketForce Ampthill Town can enjoy a prosperous season both on and off the pitch.

He said: “I’m sure like most clubs we will be looking to do the big tidy up on the score box and throughout the pavilion before the season,” he said.

“We also need to paint the sightscreens and give them a new lease of life after the normal wear and tear of use over the years.

“A general tidy up has already started and we are lucky that one of our batsmen, Nigel Lewin, is a painter and decorator.

“He was kind enough to come in on a Saturday and repaint the ceiling in our pavilion already.

“The facilities are there but we are just trying to make them as welcoming as possible.

“We are aware that we don’t make the most of our pavilion. It is let out for other groups, such as small parties, but it’s situated in the middle of a park so that does cause issues.

“Our long term goal with our ground is to give disabled people access to the clubhouse but that is dependent on grants that we have applied for.”

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

And Gatting, who played 79 Tests and 92 ODIs for England, insists the recent bad weather makes the 2014 edition even more crucial to clubs like Ampthill Town.

He said: “It is wonderful news that a record-breaking number of clubs have already registered to hold a NatWest CricketForce event,” Gatting said.

“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.

Find out when your local club event is (4-6 April), and lend a hand at