Wendover Cricket Club – September 2020

HS2 Ltd confirmed their U-turn on the future of Wendover Cricket Club’s (WCC) Ellesborough Road Ground (ERG) on 29th July and the decision is that WCC will have to permanently vacate ERG to a new location.  WCC will get a brand-new facility that conforms to modern standards, both in terms of the cricket ground and the associated facilities – a new square and playing surface, pavilion, nets, parking and with appropriate disabled provision.  WCC will also receive a sum to go towards developing a second ground at the new site.  It appears we can continue playing at the ERG in 2021 but will have to ground-share with/ hire other clubs and facilities in 2022 and until the new ground is ready for use, with costs covered by HS2.  Although there is likely to be some turmoil for the next couple of years, the new facilities will offer a bright future for the Club. The activities at the Witchell ground remain unaffected by the ERG decision.

HS2’s earlier proposals for the ERG were for a 5 metre high retaining wall alongside the new railway, but they ultimately recognised that the design and construction were too complex and costly to avoid significantly impacting on the cricket ground and nor could they apparently meet the planning requirements within this part of the AONB. It appears that the design will focus on providing a typical cut and fill green tunnel, with it mainly being fill that will spill out over the ERG and raise the existing ground levels.

With the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, cricketers have been training regularly and there have been numerous midweek junior games in late July and August when, in normal seasons, there’s usually none. A form of the Village Cup has seen games played at weekends at Witchell. The senior side has put out 3 teams every weekend since 11th July and interest in playing across all ages has been high. In the senior games played, more have been won than lost and notable performances have come from George Robinson with his first 2 innings both being hundreds, youngsters Will Cliffe and George Jackson both took 4 wickets against Old Berkeley, Will Digby hit 92 and Nick Morley 70 versus Regals, Kevin Jackson 4 wickets v Goodwill Wanderers and has struck an 84, Jonathan Seabrook took 4 wickets in one game and Jon Green 5 in another.

More information and contacts are available on the WCC website  https://www.pitchero.com/clubs/wendovercricketclub