Close to 30 years of cricket in South Normanton could come to an end this summer, unless the village team can attract new players.
That is the startling message coming from officials at the club who are desperate to maintain cricket in the area for its community.
“Last season the club played with seven or eight players in some games, which in 2019 will become impossible, due to other clubs voting in a new rule which means at least five people have to bowl,” said chairman Mark Calvert.
“Spectators who used to come to watch in numbers stopped coming probably because they would be asked to play!”
South Normanton Cricket Club was formed in 1990 at The White Hart Inn.
Among the founding members was Jim Simms, who the Chestnut Drive ground is named after, and former professional footballer Terry Adlington, once of Derby County.
The club played friendly matches at The Manor at Mansfield Woodhouse in its first season before the ground and pavilion at Broadmeadows were built as part of the housing development.
Present day club secretary Andy Coope played in this first season before the club was granted a place in the Bassetlaw and District Cricket League.
Success was only forthcoming in 2011 when the club won the first of four successive promotions, including three as champions, only missing out on a fifth promotion by one place in 2016.
A Mansfield and District Cricket League title followed in 2017.
Notable performances in that period were Rajiv Sharma who took 71 wickets in 2013, Joe Wilkinson who scored 944 runs in 2014 and Nick Calvert who scored 540 runs and took 51 wickets in 2017.
Ali Dixon, a product of the club’s youth section, went on to play in the Derbyshire Premier League for several clubs.
“By now, though, a lot of players of a similar age, either due to young families or work, had started to drift away and the club’s fortunes started to fall,” said Mr Calvert.
“The club has received help from the local councils, particularly Wayne Hatton the Physical Development Officer at Bolsover Council, who has put the club forward in schools and youth clubs.
“The club has found it difficult to recruit new players with the lack of cricket being played in schools and the few who do so going to the larger clubs.
“Over the years, the club has received much help from local business including having teas provided by local firm Snack Attack, with one of the best cricket teas in the entire league and the Boundary pub being the after match drinks venue.”
Adding: “Unless we can recruit some more players for 2019 the club will fold, leaving the area missing its cricket club.”
Anyone interested in playing or joining the club can contact chairman Mark Calvert via email on firstname.lastname@example.org or captain Pete Adlington on 07758 092677 or email email@example.com.