Important message regarding cricket at Bubwith Sports and Leisure Centre

Cricket at Bubwith: Planning permission for the improvements to the external areas on the playing field included a condition insisted upon by Sport England, relating to ball strike assessment when playing cricket. Sport England then commissioned, and paid for, a feasibility study for the external improvements plus the ball strike concern.

A ball strike risk assessment was put forward by the independent company, this stated that the current layout of cricket showed an extreme risk of people being hit by a cricket ball. They then stated that, to counter this risk, nets/fencing of 14 metres would  need to be erected around the pitch on 3 sides, the the approximate cost of such work is estimated to be in the order of £50,000 and obviously these nets would need to be left in place all year around, as taking them up and down would be a job for a contractor.

We have passed this assessment to our insurance company, Zurich, which has responded stating that if these concerns were not mitigated by fencing, then related claims would be invalid.

The Charity Trustees realise that cricket has been played for decades on the playing field with few risks, but having now received the risk assessment and appraisal of no effective insurance cover, we instigated a meeting with the cricket team captain, which has resulted in the team saying that, in the light if these reports, they would need to play elsewhere. This is a disaster for them and for the village but in today’s climate of risk and litigation the only effective way of continuing would be to work with the outside company and cricket team to move the cricket pitch a lot further down the field, this is not an easy thing to do but would be a possibility in the future if sufficient funding can be raised. We can report that for this season, Bubwith White Swan Cricket Team will play at Escrick Cricket Pitch.