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By Nigel Slater Friday 01 February 2013 Updated: 07/02 12:33
THE CHAIRMAN of Evesham Cricket Club has turned to Observer readers for their help after the club were left counting the cost of serious winter flooding.
Perimeter fencing and the club's artificial wicket used by the junior team have been destroyed by the high water levels at the ground off Albert Road and the main square, outfield, sightscreens and practice nets have also been badly damaged.
The full cost is still being calculated but club chairman John Barrett told the Observer he estimated the bill to be in the region of £25,000 which they cannot afford.
In 2007 the club faced an even bigger repair bill after the devastating summer floods which it is still recovering from, meaning it has been left with no option but to launch a flood relief fund this time around.
The club is hoping to receive financial support from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) but there is uncertainty at this stage on how much funding they will receive with other clubs suffering similar problems across the country.
Despite the flood waters receding this week there is now a race against time to get the work done with their first home league match of the new season scheduled for Saturday, April 27.
"All the hard work done in the autumn on the ground has been undermined by the floods," Mr Barrett said.
"If the ECB can support is that will be great but there will still have to be a lot of willing work form volunteers to get the ground ready.
"When I went down there and saw the water come down fast and furious it was a frightening sight watching it.
"But our problem like many other cricket clubs is we are short of funds so any help we can get will be much appreciated.
"We've been here before in 2007 when the serious floods came. It is not quite as bad this time round but nevertheless it has caused immense problems."
Mr Barrett said the club do not have insurance cover because the excess was too expensive after the clubhouse was damaged in 2007.
The club has also had support from Worcestershire Cricket, formerly Worcestershire Cricket Board, and Wychavon District Council.
Tom Hill, director of cricket for Worcestershire Cricket, said: "The weather has had a dramatic impact on all clubs this season, but none have been as hard hit as Evesham Cricket Club.
"Without the external support it is unlikely the club will continue and this historic ground will be lost forever."
People can make donations by posting a cheque to Mr N Rowland, Evesham Cricket Club, 31 Fairwater Close, Evesham, WR11 1GF or by emailing club chairman John Barrett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more details about the flood appeal visit http://evesham.play-cricket.com/.
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