TENS of thousands of pounds in crucial revenue has been lost by Bolton’s cricket clubs after one of the worst summers for the sport in living memory.
Bosses at Bradshaw Cricket Club say they have lost £30,000 since their season began in April due to cancelled matches and loss of bar takings — cash which is essential for the club’s upkeep and ground improvements.
Other clubs have also been hit in the pocket after matches were cancelled or abandoned, and even when some games did go-ahead due to the hard work of ground staff and volunteers, the number of overs played had to be reduced.Bradshaw club secretary Mike Buckley said: “Over the season we’ve lost about £30,000.
“We make our money over the summer and it’s been a particularly wet one.
“We’ve lost eight or nine junior practice nights and if parents don’t come down they don’t spend any money.
“We’ve lost five or six senior games including one or two first team games.
“It’s been one of the worst summers for a long time and it has gradually been getting worse over the last 10 years. We’re non-profit making so everything that we make goes into the club.
“We’ve spent £40,000-50,000 in the past four years on things like the scoreboard and clubhouse, but we don’t spend money we haven’t got.”
The cancellations also took its toll on the final positions in the league table, with some clubs suffering more from the effects of washouts than others.
“In cricket you don’t replay the matches, so once it’s off it’s off,” added Mr Buckley.
Adlington Cricket Club secretary Nick Chamberlain said: “We’ve lost two games completely due to the weather, Edgworth had six rained off and Elton lost four. If it’s cancelled you’ve still got two umpires that need to be paid and bar takings will be down.”
Chairman of the Bolton and District Cricket Association, Frank Jackson, aged 75, has been involved with the game since he was 15.
He said: “It’s been one of the worst summers I can remember.
“Even if a game has been played, a lot of the time that’s been to the credit of the ground staff and volunteers, and they deserve huge praise for that.”
“Bolton is like a microcosm of Lancashire in terms of weather.
“On any one day it can be raining in one part of Bolton and dry in another. “It must affect the bar takings and often that’s the only way that clubs exist.”