A FIVE-YEAR plan to improve playing and training facilities at Croesyceiliog Cricket Club has finally come to fruition.

With the help of a £40,000 grant from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), the club was able to install new outdoor nets.

In fact, the ECB-approved DSi-pro Vision practice pitches, surfaced with beige DSi-weave to replicate the appearance of a normal wicket, are not in place anywhere else in Wales.

Members of the club contributed to the successful installation, including completing numerous forms to gain funding and working with contractors Dura-Sport on site.

Cricket Wales chief executive Peter Hybart opened the new net facility with the help of the club’s All Stars young cricketers.

Croesy were also granted funding from Cricket Wales for a new bowling machine, covers and sight screens, and to convert their roller into an automated one.

“The last piece of the jigsaw was to replace our dilapidated external net facility,” said club chairman John Lewis.

“This replacement has been in the pipeline for a number of years and gained momentum in January thanks to the assistance of Mark White, our designated cricket development officer from Cricket Wales.

“The facility cost £40,000 and could not have been achieved without grant funding support from the ECB – we are very appreciative of their support for this project.

“The playing surface of the net is unique and consists of two ECB-approved DSi-pro Vision practice pitches surfaced with beige coloured DSi-weave to replicate the visual appearance of a natural wicket.

“This is the first such practice surface to be installed in Wales.

“We have installed an underground power cable so the bowling machine can be used with the new facility.

“It was a huge challenge for the club to get this in place.

“Many members contributed to the successful installation, from completing numerous forms to gaining grant funding and working with the contractors on site – a real club effort.

“We now have first-class facilities at the club, amongst the best in Wales.

“The club is delighted with the new external net facility which will prove highly beneficial to both young and senior cricketers and to our coaching team.”