A cricket club that rose from the ashes after its clubhouse was ravaged in a fire last year has vowed to fight on in spite of vandals who have damaged its replacement.
Members of Mount CC, based on Halifax Road in Batley, drew plaudits from across the cricket community for their persistence after the September blaze, starting the 2018 season on time after a tireless fundraising push.
But after several issues with anti-social behaviour at their ‘Field of Dreams’ ground, the committee are now appealing for help from the community it has served for four decades in catching out perpetrators who have kicked through walls and graffiti’d facilities.
A statement from the club said: “It is utterly demoralising to everyone at the Club that the mindless actions of a few selfish individuals is causing so much pain, stress and financial problems which we can ill-afford.
“We have been a community asset for over 40 years serving our community through cricket. How can we do this when these thugs are hell bent on causing maximum damage and disruption?
“In recent months we have had fires, vandalism, graffiti and criminal damage.
“We are grateful to the Police, the Fire Service, Kirklees Council, Yorkshire Cricket, ECB and our many volunteers and supporters for their practical support and assistance for not allowing this sustained anti-social behaviour to stop us from serving the community at large.
“But there comes a point when enough is enough and we appeal to the community to help the police identify these thugs and let the law takes its full course.”
Long-standing committee member Adbul Ravat said that members are concerned that, with the cricket season ending in four weeks and the club therefore likely to be left unattended more often, problems will increase.
He said: “It’s a huge concern for us. We work so hard to make a difference, to provide opportunities for so many people.
“When things like this happen you feel as though you are doing this with one hand tied behind your back.
“We’ve looked at a number of different possibilities as to what we can do, CCTV and so on. But where do you put it? It’s impossible.
“We’ve had meetings with local councillors and police and we’re hoping it will help to bring an end to this mindless thuggery.”
Police have confirmed that they are working with the club to tackle the issues, admitting that concerns had been raised that groups had been loitering around the venue.
A statement said that Officers from the Neighbourhood Policing Team have been conducting patrols in the area.