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Hartley Wintney cricket pitch damaged in 'mindless act'

3 minute read
Hartley Wintney cricket pitch damaged in 'mindless act'

Published at 1:36pm 10th December 2018. (Updated at 3:39pm 10th December 2018)

The Cricket Green in Hartley Wintney has been damaged after being driven on in the middle of the night.

Neighbours to the green reported hearing an engine revving loudly sometime between 3 and 3:30 this morning.

Members of the club woke to find the extent of the damage, which shows that a vehicle was driven round the outfield several times.

The vehicle, which left via the North side of the pitch onto the High Street (A30), is believed to be a 4 x 4 with yellow rather than white headlights, possibly silver in colour.

Now the club, which is run by volunteers and is one of the oldest functioning clubs in the country, is appealing for the public to help repair the damage.

Club secretary Andy Ross said:

"We can't go out there with any heavy duty machinery because it's just too soft, so we're having to do it by hand.

"There's a huge amount of track marks that need to be repaired, it's brought up a lot of sods and divots and those need to go back into the tracks to ensure the fact that they'll be growth there next season.

"This is going to take some operation - anybody who has got a rake or a pair of hands that they're happy enough to get dirty we'd welcome with open arms."

Hartley Wintney CC

The incident has been reported to the police, although it is not yet clear if the club were specifically targeted or not.

Describing seeing the damage Andy added:

"Utter disbelief and then it sank in what actually had been done. You've got a lot of anger that somebody has gone out of their way deliberately to do this.

"We've had similar situations in the past but nothing to this extent, one far side of the ground was damaged a little bit two years ago - it was very light damage.

"Somebody's had some real intent last night - I don't know who is behind it but it's created a huge amount of hard work for a lot of people."

If anyone has any information about the incident they are asked to call 101, quoting reference 44180459565.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting the same reference.

Hartley Wintney CC

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