A NEW artificial pitch has been installed at Tywyn Cricket Club, four months after the previous one was set on fire.
One half of the pitch, at Cae Rhianfa in Tywyn, was left unusable following the fire.
The team could use the other half of the pitch to train on, but playing matches on it was impossible.
With the pitch being damaged just days before the scheduled start of the season, club secretary Simon Jenkins feared the chances of any cricket being played in the town this season were slim.
However, thanks to the kindness of people from around the world, a new pitch has been paid for and installed. The crowd funding page raised £4909 and the club had a couple of separate donations. This helped the club to reach the total of £5,104, the cost of the new pitch.
Simon said: “The appeal went really well; we couldn’t be more pleased.
“We had a lot of donations from the local area, but we also received money from cricket clubs from across the UK and the world.
“We have received donations from cricket clubs in countries as far away as Australia and the USA.
“It’s been a real group effort to raise the money.”
Simon, who is also treasurer and safety officer at the club, continued: “We hoped to get the pitch installed earlier in the year, but the contractor got pinged by the track and trace app informing them they needed to isolate.
“However, we are all caught up and now, and hopefully we will have our first home match of the season on the new pitch against Aberystwyth on Sunday, 15 August.
“We have had great support from Dolgellau Cricket Club who have allowed us to play our home games there whilst our pitch has been unavailable. They’ve been really good and prepared a wicket for us for each of our home games.
“A lot of our players play for Dolgellau on a Saturday and then for us on a Sunday.”
There was concern that the future of cricket in Tywyn was at risk following damage to the pitch.
Simon added: “At the time, I feared that it may be the end of cricket in Tywyn.
“I was seriously concerned as to how we would be able to purchase a new pitch.
“The support has been excellent and this pitch has helped us to ensure we can continue to play cricket in Tywyn for many years to come.
“Some of our players have been involved in cricket courses in Dolgellau to help boost the sport in the surrounding area.
“We hope to carry on this work with Dolgellau.
“We’ve had a couple of requests for membership and people who want to come and show their support when we play, which is great.
“We hope the people who damaged the pitch can see the support that we have had from the town and wider cricketing community.”