ALVECHURCH & Hopwood Cricket Club has been bowled over after sponsors Charter Savings Bank funded the installation of a new artificial wicket.
The new wicket – put into place in the Birmingham Road club’s 150th year – incorporates the England & Wales Cricket Board-approved DSi-pro cricket system and features the bank’s branding at each end.
The installation has been completed by synthetic sports surfacing specialists Dura-Sport and their commercial director and head of cricket Richard Key said: “We were delighted to install the club’s new wicket and be able to provide Alvechurch & Hopwood CC with a bespoke solution.
“It’s great the club has the support of their local business community and I’m sure both they and Charter Savings Bank will benefit from this long-term investment.”
Cricket club chairman Mark Woollatt said: “Like many village cricket clubs, we operate on a shoestring budget and, with recent capital expenditure and fund-raising being required for a replacement roof on the pavilion, we were faced with at least another few years without an effective artificial wicket.
“The previous artificial wicket was one of the first generation of wickets and as such the fabric was laid over a solid concrete-type surface 15 years ago and is no longer fit for purpose.
“Charter Court Financial Services has a history of sharing their success with their employees, charities and the local community groups and we are very privileged their executives have supported this financial investment, hugely enhancing our facility and increasing the capacity of the club for all ages and abilities.”
Paul Whitlock, director of savings at Charter Savings Bank, said: “We are proud to be able to declare our support for Alvechurch & Hopwood CC and all the good work their members deliver.
“This new artificial wicket means they will no longer be caught out by bad weather and we hope the team can get on to the front foot with their matches.”
Tom Hill, cricket development director at Worcestershire Cricket Board, added: “We are delighted Alvechurch & Hopwood CC have been given such generous support by Charter Savings Bank in their 150th year.
“The club has worked through a number of challenges in the last five years and has put a lot of time and energy into increasing its adult and junior membership, creating greater links with the local community and improving its facilities and the new artificial wicket will help the club enormously.”