Rye Cricket Club is on the brink of making a major step forward to secure its future.
The Rother District Council cabinet on January 12 agreed in principle to granting Rye Cricket Club a 99-year lease on the clubhouse at The Salts, where Rye play their home matches.
The clubhouse was built with Rye United Football Club money to replace the old Sidney Allnutt Pavilion, which was destroyed by arson in August 2010.
Rye Cricket Club previously hired the clubhouse off then fellow ground user Rye United FC during the summer months, but landowner Rother District Council took back possession of the clubhouse at the end of September following the football club’s demise.
Rye Cricket Club is now awaiting the first draft of the lease, with the hope that the legalities will be agreed and signed prior to the spring.
At Rye Cricket Club’s Annual General Meeting on Sunday, a pavilion committee was voted in to run and manage the building. Darren Smith was voted in as the chairman.
He said: “I’m looking forward to getting the pavilion up and running, and not only making it a focal point for the club members and their families, but hopefully for the wider community as well.“
It really is Hobson’s Choice because without the club taking on the pavilion, it would mean the end of 261 years of cricket in Rye. So the club is keen to take on the challenge, recognised by the fact there were 32 members at the meeting and nine apologies received. All of them wholeheartedly backed the decision.
The new committee will be looking for potential partners to use the pavilion, especially in the period outside of the cricket season.
Rother District Council also agreed in discussions for the club to do additional work to the cricket square to enable it to meet the more exacting standards of the Sussex Cricket League. In 2014, the ground was rated 40 out of 40 in terms of both the wicket and the outfield.
On the playing side, the meeting confirmed the signing of Indian overseas player Kshemal Waingankar, as reported in last week’s Observer Sport.
The winter coaching programme at Rye Sports Centre will start on February 12 from 7-9pm for secondary school aged colts, February 13 from 8-9.30pm and February 14 11am-12noon for primary school aged pupils.
There will be three Saturday league teams, Saturday, Sunday and midweek friendly teams, as well as two u11 teams, and u13, u15 and u17 sides competing in the Ashford Youth League.
Cricketers of any age wanting to be involved should contact club secretary Martin Blincow by email firstname.lastname@example.org