Cricket club lose £5,000 of gear in night-time burglary

A CRICKET club has lost £5,000 of equipment after raiders struck.

Blackley Cricket Club has become the second club in a month to lose thousands of pounds to thieves.

The club, based at Lindley Road, Elland, was targeted at some point between 10pm on Monday night and 8.30am on Tuesday morning.

The thieves stole a sit-on mower, strimmers, garden lawnmowers and spiking equipment from a locked shed.

Steve Williams, the club’s junior coordinator, said the club was devastated at the loss.

He said: “The doors are really heavy duty so these guys had obviously been and weighed up the job beforehand and then come back with the tools for the job.

“People can see the club from the road so it makes it easy to see everything we have when the groundsman is working.”

Unfortunately, because of the location of the storage hut, the equipment was uninsured and the cost will be borne by club members.

“It’s going to hit us financially,” said Mr Williams. “The club members are all really annoyed.

“Amateur cricket doesn’t need these things happening when finances are so tight anyway – we are a community club.

“Thankfully you learn who your friends are at times like these. Beck’s Horticultural Limited have donated an outfield mower free of charge in return for some sponsorship.

“In the short term Brian Evans from Stainland Cricket Club offered to come down and cut the wicket for this week’s matches.”

The club are planning to apply for several funding grants to try and replace the equipment and have already begun taking steps to improve security.

Last week the Courier reported how Mytholmroyd Cricket Club had lost £2,000 worth of equipment in a similar raid and police are asking for public help in catching the thieves.

Inspector Mohammed Nawaz, of the Lower Valley Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We just want to reassure the community that we are taking this incident very seriously and are doing all we can to investigate it.

“We would like members of the public to come forward with any information they may have and call us on 0845 6060606.”