Cricketers in Batley hit by arson attack invite the culprits to join their club

Members of Mount Cricket Club and other guests at the closing ceremony of the girls cricket tournament.
Members of Mount Cricket Club and other guests at the closing ceremony of the girls cricket tournament.

Bosses at a cricket club hit by an arson attack are urging the culprits to come to their ground and get involved with the sport.

Cricketers at Mount Cricket Club on Halifax Road in Batley were left reeling when they discovered a pile of wood set aside to build new fencing had been set alight.

The fire, discovered last Tuesday, damaged the wood and a temporary building.

Development Officer at the club Abdul Ravat said it is not the first time that the club has been the victim of anti-social behaviour.

“It’s just really disheartening and dispiriting,” he said.

“What we try to provide is positive opportunities for young people in the community.”

He believes the people who started the fire are likely to be young and bored but that they could be helped by coming to the club and joining in.

“We want these young people to be involved and get them to interact and become role models,” said Mr Ravat.

“We have some wonderful examples of kids doing wonderful stuff as a result of what we do with them.”

Mount Cricket Club has been running community cricket for over 40 years and in 2017 was given the Queens Award for Voluntary Service - one of the highest honours for voluntary groups.

Last week, 100 boys from eight local schools came for a huge cricket tournament and the week before, 100 girls from the same schools were invited to play.

The opportunities that it offers to the community is growing, from junior cricket for both boys and girls and children with disabilities to reaching out to older players.

Mr Ravat said they would welcome investment to help them increase these opportunities and creat a hub for sport and community activities.

“Imagine what we can do if we had better equipment and physical facilities.” he said.