A brand-new artificial cricket wicket has been laid at Bullough Park, creating a full-sized space for locals to play and practice, after calls from residents for new sporting equipment.
Cllr Steven Smithson, Deputy Leader of Hyndburn Council and portfolio holder for green spaces, said:
“I am really proud we have been able to make this a reality in time for summer and look forward to seeing people of all ages enjoying this great addition to Bullough Park. Just looking around I’m pleased to see such well-maintained green space that can be used for a range of activities.
“Thank you to our parks team who do a fantastic job and to everyone who has been involved in this cricket wicket being put in place.”
The new pitch is being built to English and Welsh cricket standards, creating a high-quality, free to use space where Hyndburn residents can come together and be active in their community. The space is an all-weather wicket, which means year-round opportunities.
Cllr Mohammed Younis, Central Ward and Portfolio Holder for Levelling Up, said:
“Myself, our MP Sara Britcliffe and other councillors have been approached many, many times for a cricket pitch which we are pleased to have now been able to deliver. We will continue to prioritise creating more sports facilities for the people of Hyndburn and young people to enjoy.
“The pitch is free for everyone to use which was important to us. Sporting equipment that is widely available and accessible for all within the borough is so important, not just for physical wellbeing, but for the sense of community and belonging that comes with playing these team sports.”
Hyndburn Councillors were joined by members of the local community and cricketers who have been eager to see this wicket installation for many years.
Allah Dad, keen cricketer and active community member, said:
“In the past, local cricketers would play on tarmac within the surrounding area and they used to complain to us that they were getting bad knees and they didn’t have the space to play in. It certainly doesn’t encourage children to want to start playing, so this new opportunity is brilliant.”
Saeed Ullah, Lancashire league and local club cricketer, said:
“I have played for Lancashire league and within local clubs, so I am really pleased to see this new wicket pitch. This used to be a proper ground and there used to be mid-week leagues held here back in the 90s – it is a historical ground for cricketing league and all the ex-professionals used to play here in mid-week leagues, so I am pleased to see it returned to its former glory.”
Khurram Shahzad, local Cricket player, said:
“2006 I came here to England to play cricket. Now, it is far more fun because there is now a formal wicket here and it is a great space for everyone to get stuck in. I love it here and pleased there is even more cricket here in Accrington now.”
Nihaal Basharat, Enfield Cricket Club Player and Representative for Lancashire, said:
“I have been brought up in Accrington and so, from a young age, I have been playing cricket within Hyndburn. I normally play at Enfield cricket club as a junior pitcher for Lancashire and representing the North-West. There is a big group of us, all based in Accrington, who will now be able to play and train at Bullough park with the creation of this new, purpose-built space.”
Faheem Basharat, Representative for Lancashire and Junior play for Enfield Cricket Club, said:
“The new pitch is a really great addition and should be really good for both the older lads and younger generation as well to come down and train. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been involved in making this happen, especially all the councillors who have listened to our demands – we really appreciate what they have done for us.”
Cllr Sajid Mahmood, local councillor, said:
“I would like to thank all the team and everyone who has played a part in making this a reality, the young people and cricketers in the area have a space to play safely now.”
“I would like to also mention Qazi Nadeem Thaj, who can’t be here at the opening today. He has also been an influence for several years and he really wanted to see a pitch here. He will definitely be using the pitch and was looking forward to this becoming a reality.”
Throughout the borough of Hyndburn, there are a great array of parks, green spaces, and sporting equipment available for public use 24/7 throughout the year, from the bookable football pitches at Wilson’s Playing Fields to the brand-new ball court for ball-sport activities at Knuzden recreation ground to the free gym-like equipment at both Milnshaw and Mercer Parks.
To see what equipment and green spaces are available near you, head to the Parks and Open Spaces section for further details.