Ovington CC Club Statement regarding the Little Knavesmire
Ovington Cricket Club would like to address any uncertainty regarding the York Vale League’s decision to temporarily ban Ovington Senior Teams from playing on the Little Knavesmire in League matches.
On Wednesday 27th April – senior members of the York Vale League committee made an “official inspection” of the outfield on the Little Knavesmire, after concerns were expressed in regards to areas of the ground damaged by the unprecedented flooding that we sustained over the winter. Subsequent to this inspection, we were notified that the League had deemed our outfield “not fit to play” and we were, in effect, banned from playing home games until otherwise stated. Ovington understand, but disagree, with the reasoning as to why the Vale League made this decision.
Ovington Cricket Club would like to emphasise that player safety is always our #1 priority when it comes to deciding whether any ground or pitch that an Ovington or opposition team takes part on, is fit to play. The club feel that the areas in question, although particularly ugly to look at, have no exaggerated risk in terms of uneven or wayward bounce in comparison to other parts of the ground, or other outfield at a similar standard of Cricket. Many hours of work has been put in to these areas in order to make them fit – and despite the York Vale League’s decision – Ovington CC still believe that the outfield, although not particularly attractive to look at, represents a safe environment in which to play and practice Cricket.
The Square itself, was commended on how well it looked given the amount of water that has fallen on it over the winter and has not been subject of any comments regarding being unfit.
The Club face numerous challenges with the unique nature of a Cricket ground still being in use on essentially public land and we are in constant dialogue with our landlord, the City of York Council, in order to repair and improve drainage. Over the winter the outfield was also damaged by animals, people with metal-detectors or those using the Little Knavesmire for commercial enterprise. On a financial level, this decision could cost Ovington upwards of £1,000 in terms of lost revenue in addition to expenditure spent on replacement venues for league matches.
Ovington, with much thought and consideration with senior members of the ground and coaching staff, have agreed
- Junior matches will still take place on the Little Knavesmire, with conditions continually assessed in order to ensure a safe playing environment.
- Foss Evening League home matches, due to being granted permission by the league itself, will continue to be played on the Little Knavesmire
- Outdoor Training will still take place on Friday’s from 6:30pm-8:00pm
Responsibility for the Health and Safety of our players and the opposition, from Under 9’s to our Senior teams, is paramount and we will continue to monitor the situation in terms of the fitness of the ground. We will work tirelessly over the coming weeks in order to satisfy the Vale League that the Little Knavesmire is fit to play Cricket.