Tuesday 16 January 2018

Club on a sticky wicket over lack of ground

Anita Guidera

A CRICKET team has to make a 300km round trip every time it plays a home game.

Sligo Cricket Club, which is two years old, is hoping the outpouring of goodwill following Ireland's historic defeat of England this week will bear fruit locally.

"We are looking for a field to rent so we can have a home pitch," said chairman Paul Mercer.

He moved to Sligo from England six years ago and is behind the establishment of the County Sligo Cricket Club in Sligo town, which has 37 members.

And after the high-profile coverage the game has got this week, an influx of members is expected.

After appearing on the local Ocean FM radio station two days ago, Mr Mercer said the club had two offers of grounds but they were for sale, not rent.

Travel

"The club could not afford the asking prices. Initially, we are looking for a field to rent. It has to be about 150m by 150m," he said.

Not having its own ground means the team has to travel to Galway city to play its matches.

"If we get our own ground, then hopefully we can make some contribution to getting the game going in schools in the area.

"We want plenty of colts -- that's what cricket calls its young players," said Mr Mercer.

"We approached a few GAA clubs but we were told there was some rule against being allowed on their grounds."

Historical evidence suggests cricket was a game of the common Irish people as far back as the 1880s, before Gaelic football was invented.

Irish Independent

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