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Burley Cricket Club stumped over railing 'vandalism'

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BURLEY Cricket Club officials say the actions of suspected vandals could leave the club on a sticky wicket.

Brand new railings surrounding the club’s pitch have been repeatedly knocked over, resulting in ponies getting onto the site and damaging the wicket. Incensed officials have alerted Hampshire police.

Last year, more than 80 people donated funds to help the club buy the £7,000 cast iron boundary.

The railings are designed to stop animals getting onto the wicket
The railings are designed to stop animals getting onto the wicket

Club chairman Peter Goodwin said: “Over the winter, the club found a section of the railings knocked over on a couple of occasions and initially we believed that the weather was the cause, as there had been high winds.

“But it has carried on happening almost weekly and we’ve become convinced that someone is pushing them over on purpose.

“The railings are heavy and it takes a concerted effort to push three or four over at one time.

“Every time this happens, it puts strain on the railings that everyone connected with the club put so much effort into raise the funds to buy, and it also increases the chances of the Forest animals getting onto the wicket.

“That’s already happened, and our groundsman has managed to repair the damage, but if the animals keep getting on the wicket that could easily end our season before we’ve barely got going.

“We don’t know who is doing this and why they would want to.

“Dozens of adults and children enjoy playing cricket at Burley over the summer – these acts of vandalism are jeopardising the enjoyment of many people.”

Burley has two successful Saturday adult sides, a Sunday friendly team and youth sides in the U15, U11 and U9 levels. It also currently holds the Stone Cup title, and was voted New Forest Sports Club of the Year in 2019.

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