‘MINDLESS’ vandals have set fire to a picnic table donated to a cricket club the day after dozens of volunteers helped to spruce up the club.
As part of the Natwest CricketForce Day on Sunday – an annual event to rejuvenate the nation’s cricket clubs – more than 30 members chipped in to tidy up the Shipley Hall ground.
But chairman Peter Young was gobsmacked to discover that at some point during the night, arsonists had turned a picnic bench, worth more than £200, to nothing but ash and dust.
“It’s just mindless vandalism,” he said.
“Just damage to the building is, I suppose, not so bad but arson is a real worry to us because where does it stop?”
The benches were donated two years ago to the club and are open to the public to use in and out of the cricket season, as well as spectators.
“These benches were donated as a service to the community,” he added.
Mr Young said this latest arson was the fourth occasion of vandalism at the club in the last 18 months.
He said that they have reported all the incidents to police, who have stepped up patrols in the area.
The cricket season starts this week but Shipley Hall will be one bench worse off.
“We are not sure if it will be replaced,” said Mr Young.
“Something like this makes you wonder if it’s worth it.”
He added: “However such attacks will not deter us from our aims in providing cricket.”
Anyone with information should call police on 0345 123 33 33.
n Turn to page 28 to read about the CricketForce Day.