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Flood relief reaches £150,000

The ECB’s flood relief fund, set up in July to provide assistance to cricket clubs affected by the summer floods, has released more than £150,000 in awards to over 30 of the worst affected clubs.

Hundreds of clubs the length and breadth of the country suffered damage in the summer floods and many were left with large repair and replacement bills, prompting the ECB’s funding and facilities unit to approach the England and Wales cricket trust to raise £250,000 funds for distribution among ECB affiliated clubs.

Three months later, 38 applications had been received and 31 offers totalling £153,000 made, from the £288 awarded to Barkby United CC in Leicestershire to pay for the removal of algae to five awards of the maximum £10,000 made to Tewkesbury CC, Evesham CC, Sileby Town CC, Wath CC in Yorkshire and Tenbury Wells CC, all of them brought perilously close to ruin by the floods.

Charlbury CC in Oxfordshire received £5,000 which went mostly on hiring mowers, a roller and a tractor to replace the equipment damaged when the River Stour burst its banks and left the pavilion submerged in three metres of water and the scorebox floating off into the distance.

The pavilion has now been condemned and an appeal set up to fund the building of a new wooden structure at the other end of the field at a cost of £200,000, to be completed by next May.

Around £1,000 has been spent on re-loaming the squares and according to club secretary Colin Oliffe, the total cost of the damage caused by the floods will amount to around £7,000, excluding the pavilion.

“It has been a testing time for us all and the players became quite despondent because the conditions were so difficult,” he said.

Sileby Town CC after the floods

Sileby Town CC after the floods

“But there were definitely plusses to come out of this and in some ways it has been good for the club because everyone has pulled together. The local community has raised around £15,000 to help us and we have had help from the council and the local radio station.”

Tewkesbury CC was submerged in 10 to 12 feet of filthy contaminated flood water and the pavilion, which was built on piers to keep it above flood levels, remained under water for several days.

There was damage to the square, outfield and nets and most of the club’s equipment had to be repaired or replaced. The £10,000 award from the flood relief fund helped to meet costs.

The access road to Oughtibridge CC was completely washed away when the waters of the River Don cascaded over their ground, wiping out the garage where the club’s cutting equipment was stored. A crater measuring 20 feet wide and 10 feet deep formed in the car park, the clubhouse was flooded and the field was covered in rubble, boulders and silt.

A clean up operation was immediately launched and an application for £6,500 to help with repairing the access road, hiring machinery and getting the grounds decontaminated and back in action, was approved.

Walton on Trent CC was used as a temporary shelter for sheep during the worst of the floods. A local flock was herded into the clubhouse where it stayed until the water levels had subsided but inevitably there was damage and the club recently received a cheque for £4,025 to cover the cost of making vital repairs.

To qualify for funds, clubs had to provide evidence of having suffered severe disruption or closure from the flooding. Any element that was subject to an ongoing insurance claim was not embraced by the fund which was targeted more at enabling ground works, decontamination, general clearance and clean up and purchase or hire of machinery.

The ECB is continuing to lobby for more support and match funding from other organisations.