AN ARTIFICIAL cricket pitch at War Memorial Park will be repaired in February to help cricket enthusiasts enjoy the sport in the summer.

The decision was announced by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s sports portfolio holder Kerry Morrow in a full council meeting on Thursday, December 14.

He was replying to a question from a member of public on growing concern of lack of cricket pitches for both adult and junior teams in the community.

Jessy Edara, who represents Capital Cricket Club, an amateur cricket club in Basingstoke, told the Gazette ahead of the meeting that Stratton Park is the only pitch available for public to book for cricket via the council website, while the War Memorial Park needs urgent repair.

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The club members also performed a mime in front of the council office ahead of the meeting, drawing attention to the pressing need for additional cricket pitches in the area.

Basingstoke Gazette: Capital Cricket Club members perform a mime outside Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council office ahead of a full council meetingCapital Cricket Club members perform a mime outside Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council office ahead of a full council meeting (Image: Newsquest)

Mr Edara repeated his concerns during the full council meeting.

Addressing the cricket club members during the council meeting, Cllr Morrow assured them that the War Memorial Park pitch would undergo repairs before the summer season. Additionally, he pledged to hold a meeting with the club to discuss steps to facilitate bookings through the council.

He said: “The Leisure Recreation Needs Assessment by the council has found that the demand and future demand for formal cricket is sufficiently met. The council’s plan is to maintain and retain its current stock of cricket pitches for formal cricket. However, there isn’t enough pitches for informal cricket. The borough can track formal cricket by tracking the booking systems and by talking to cricket clubs. Informal cricket is much harder to track this.

“I’m pleased to say that following the last meeting when this request was made, I spoke to the officers and I was told that the War Memorial pitch will be repaired. Once the artificial pitch is repaired, I hope the cricketers would make good use of it and I hope we will have lots of sporting activities around the pavilion next summer.”