AN ARTIFICIAL cricket pitch in War Memorial Park has been repaired to help residents enjoy the sport in the summer.

As previously reported, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council's sports portfolio holder Kerry Morrow had promised that the pitch would be repaired in February after members of the public expressed concerns about the lack of cricket spaces for both adult and junior teams in the community.

The council has now installed a new pitch in the town centre Green Flag park to encourage people of all ages to play cricket informally.

The cricket wicket, which is based near the Basingstoke Indoor Tennis Centre and the skatepark and pump track, had reached the end of its life and needed replacing.

READ MORE: War Memorial Park's artificial cricket pitch to undergo repairs ahead of summer

Members of Capital Cricket Club were among those who appealed to the council to replace the surface for cricket lovers to enjoy.

The pitch has now been installed for informal cricket use, which means using a softer ball, and requires a bedding in period and rolling before it is ready in the spring.

Further work will also take place later in the year to enable the England and Wales Cricket Board compliant pitch to have the potential to host formal cricket matches and training, if this need is demonstrated.

Cllr Morrow said: “I am really pleased that people came to us, including borough councillor Cllr Arun Mummalaneni, to let us know this cricket space is valued by the community.

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“Improving access to council-owned facilities to enhance the wellbeing of our residents is a key priority for us and I encourage friends and families to come together, play cricket and enjoy this space over the summer. The wicket is designed to encourage people of all ages to play cricket informally and helps meet the gap in our Leisure Recreational Needs Assessment.”

Cllr Morrow added: “With the new provider at the Basingstoke Indoor Tennis Centre planning exciting developments for the John Arlott Pavilion and activities run from the centre, a thriving weekly 5km parkrun and plans to set up regular BMX sessions at pump track being explored - there’s lots of exciting activities to look forward to at War Memorial Park.”

Chairman of Basingstoke Capital Cricket Club Jessy Edara said: “A big thank you to the council for the fantastic upgrade to the cricket pitch! Our sincere gratitude to everyone involved in making this happen – your efforts have truly elevated our cricket experience. Beyond the game, your support is bringing our community together, promoting a healthier lifestyle through the joy of play. Your commitment is making a positive impact and we deeply appreciate it.”