Club is under fire over cricket balls

NRHNBE110606c1, Langley mill cricket club. Richard Davey
NRHNBE110606c1, Langley mill cricket club. Richard Davey

A CRICKET club has come under fire from residents who say balls hit out of the ground narrowly miss windows at nearby homes.

Some neighbours in Aldreds Lane, Langley Mill, say they are bothered by balls hit over the boundary – one broke a car windscreen – and are demanding the club invest in a set of safety nets to go around the perimeter.

Large conifers surround the boundary except for a few small gaps directly in line with the wicket, which is where cricket balls are getting through, say residents.

David Hunt, 55, who lives on the lane, said: “If you look at Ripley Cricket Club they have large nets like those on a tennis court – we have nothing but a small fence stopping the balls coming through.

“What we are going through is hell – one only just missed my grandson last year and he was only one at the time!”

Management at the entirely self-funded club say they cannot afford to buy a set of expensive nets and doubt whether they can provide a solution to the problem.

The club’s general manager Richard Davey, 40, said: “We have absolutely every sympathy for the people affected by this. The trouble is the ground has very short straight boundaries. We have grown large conifer trees around the perimeter but we are be required to cut these back as they block out the light to people’s houses – it is a bit of a ‘catch 22’ really.”

“Planning regulations only allow you to have the nets so high and due to the short pitch, it would not make much of a difference anyway.”

Mr Davey said the club, established in 1870, was fully insured and it would be more than happy to reimburse anyone who has had damage to their property as a result of stray balls.