Derbyshire cricket club poised to celebrate 175th anniversary

Ashford v Bakewell Cricket - Ashford in the Water batsman James Bentley

Ashford v Bakewell Cricket - Ashford in the Water batsman James Bentley

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Ashford-in-the-Water cricket club are hoping to mark their 175th anniversary with a season to remember.

The club, just outside Bakewell, were founded in 1841 and have played a key part in the local community ever since.

The club plies its trade in the Yorkshire and Derbyshire League, Division Two and are set to start their season on April 23 with a home game against Sheffield Centralians.

Simon Davies is club secretary and has filled various roles in those three decades.

Ahead of the landmark season, Simon says the club is hoping to finalise events later in the year as they get set to mark the occasion.

“We plan, at some stage, on having an actual get-together where we invited former players down,” he said.

“We’re still at the discussion stages.

“We’re not planning on doing anything big-scale but we have planned to play a side from Newton, who we have been playing them for over 40 years.”

Simon added: “The new season isn’t that long off.

“I’ve been involved since 1990.

“I was asked one day if I could fill in and have been here ever since.”

Simon hopes that the club’s future is just as bright, with a strong nucleus of youngsters playing for the club on a weekly basis.

He said: “Ashford is a small place but we think that the cricket club is a big part of the village and has been for the past 175 years.

“We run Kwik Cricket at the weekends during the season which attracts around 40 kids on a Sunday morning.

“The problem is that you’re always competing against so many other sports.

“To see 30-plus youngsters running around the field with bat and ball in hand every week, gives us old timers some reassurance that village cricket is still as popular as ever and has a long future if looked after.

“Having said that we are always keen to welcome new players of any age or ability, especially in this landmark year for the club.”

In terms of on-the-pitch matters Simon says there is always a struggle to try and tempt people to get involved with cricket, especially in today’s busy world.

He added: “Cricket can be quite a time-consuming thing.

“It’s not an easy thing to commit to, especially in today’s world.

“Times have changed but as with most village cricket clubs the lifeblood of the club is the local community and the surrounding areas.”