After an absence of 17 years, cricket is due to make a return to Westerham. Westerham Cricket Club reformed at the end of 2019 and since then has only been able to play away matches due to the lack of a cricket pitch in Westerham. The Club, which used to have six teams playing home matches on two pitches on King George’s Field, had been working with Westerham Town Council and Westerham Junior Football Club to find a location for a new cricket square on the field. But in May this year they were informed by the Town Council that this would not be possible now or in the future.
The Club has now reached an agreement with Valence School to use its self-contained cricket ground as a home venue for at least the next three years.
Club Chairman, Chris Bechervaise said: “This is such a relief to everyone at the club. It looked like we would never find a home venue in the town and we wish to express our thanks to the Governors and Staff at the school for their full support. This now gives us a real opportunity to develop the club over the coming years with more adult, junior, girls and women’s teams. In addition, we also want to start a disability cricket section at the club in 2022.”
Disability cricket provision is rare, only 5% of cricket clubs in England and Wales have a disability section and in Kent there are currently only four. The club will be applying to become an ECB Disability Cricket Champion Club next year.
Chris added: “Our vision is to become a ‘hub’ for disability cricket in our part of the County. We are also proud to be the first ever sports club in Westerham to have a link with the school.”
But there is a lot of work ahead for the club who plan to reconstruct the school’s cricket square which hasn’t been used for 15 years, and refurbish the dilapidated pavilion back to a usable state. Chris says the club is seeking local support.
“We are now looking for like-minded local businesses or individuals to share our exciting journey by supporting us and joining us on the ride. We have sponsorship and advertising opportunities available. We have also launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the project where people can pledge donations online at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/valence–cricket.”
• In February, Westerham Cricket Club were the beneficiaries of a £1,500 grant from the Sevenoaks District Sports Council.