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Harborne to give club a facelift

Officials at Harborne Cricket Club in Warwickshire are buzzing with excitement as they prepare to get involved in NatWest CricketForce 2005 this weekend.

The whole club will be given a facelift during the two days and England international Ashley Giles and ECB chief executive David Collier will be making guest appearances as well as the ECB Roadshow as Harborne join around 650 clubs across the country in improving their facilities.

Club officials at Harborne, who play in the Birmingham League, have drawn up a list of 80 jobs to be carried out by around 150 volunteers. Local businesses have donated materials to help with the work, which is expected to take up 800 hours of labour.

In the clubhouse, a modern new kitchen will be fitted to allow a commercial-type operation and the bar will be refurbished. The entire area around the clubhouse will also be cleared of debris before the whole building is given a lick of paint.

Through the help of B&Q, a new shed will be built for use by the groundsman and a larger scorebox will be erected which will have heating, electricity, a modem supply and perspex over the windows.

Ashley Giles

Ashley Giles will be in attendance at Harborne

Further improvements will see the car park resurfaced, extra stadium-style seating installed around the main ground and the pavilion at the Knots Ground refurbished.

Interest in the event will be increased by the presence of Warwickshire and England star Giles, who will at the ground from around 10am.

In addition to mucking in with the work, signing autographs and posing for photos, the spinner will be taking part in the Ashley Giles Challenge where children at the ground can attempt to bowl out the England star to win free junior membership of Harborne Cricket Club. The club welcomes all youngsters to come along and take part.

Giles said: “CricketForce is a superb venture for cricket clubs across the country and I am looking forward to supporting Harborne’s efforts.

"The event promises to be a great one for the club and I hope to see a lot of people, the smaller of whom I’m sure will test my skills in the Ashley Giles Challenge.”

ECB Roadshow

The ECB Roadshow will provide extra entertainment

Harborne’s CricketForce co-ordinator David Williams said: “Ashley Giles visiting our club on Saturday April 2, along with the ECB Cricket Roadshow, has well and truly put ‘the icing on the cake’ with regards to our massive Cricketforce 2005 project.

"The vast majority of the original list of 80 jobs will be carried out during the weekend, which will result in the club receiving the facelift and makeover it desperately requires to help generate extra membership in all areas of our club from playing to social.”

He added: “Additional marketing and sponsorship opportunities will be generated out of the successes of CricketForce, providing the club with much-needed extra revenue to help to take the club forward.

"2005 will be the starting point of an exciting five-year club plan which covers every aspect of our club’s operation.

“The atmosphere this event is bringing to the club as a whole is special and something I’ve not witnessed in over 12 years that I have been a member at Harborne Cricket Club.”