Club Cricket Conference

Monday, 29th November 2021

Town Council in quandary over sixes dispute

THE national media has brought problems for Lymington CC in Hampshire sharply into focus with the news of a row with the local council over hazardous sixes, an issue that involves the dreaded 'health and safety'.

Lymington and Pennington Town Council have voted to move the whole club out of their current venue unless they erect a high safety net at the cost of £50,000 to protect the nearby tennis courts. This is an incredible demand as the club this summer celebrated their 175th year of cricket at the Sports Ground.

Jerry Holt, the club president, said a six into the tennis courts was a rare occurence -- four times in three years with no injuries -- but Lymington CC, in Division One of the Southern Electric Premier Cricket League, seem to have a disadvantage in that the council are their landlords.

At a meeting to discuss the issue Councillor Paul Hickman took the cricket's side when he commented that there were risks surrounding all sports pitches, adding: "We might as well ban cricket." Councillor Penny Jackman was definitely against. "The plain and frightening reality is cricket balls have been landing at great speed a matter of inches from unsuspecting people," she said.

Shamley Green CC fought off the threat of an injunction by a neighbouring householder in May 2009 that would have prevented them from playing on the village green after 169 years in residence.

The applicant Mr Mike Burgess, who moved into his house in 2005, complained that stray cricket balls posed a risk to his property. He said at a hearing in Guildford County Court that the 15ft nets the club erected outside his house for games were insufficient to stop some balls hitting his house. The club told the Court that there had been no injuries recorded in living memory from stray balls. They said they took steps to ensure that cricket was played responsibly and paid for any damage caused.

The Judge HHJ Reid QC dismissed the application for an interim injunction and ordered Mr Burgess to pay the costs of the hearing. The Judge also made directions for the future conduct of the action.