Assuming the Government gives the nod for competitive cricket to resume next month, South Wilts anticipate a busy summer, with the club hosting Wiltshire Minor Counties cricket in addition to running four of their own Saturday league teams, alongside a welter of boys and girls junior matches.
“We anticipate a terrific take-up of people wanting to play cricket. There’s been little sport for people to participate in for months on end now and I really think that when we move into British summer time on March 29, there will be a clamour to play at all age groups,” said South Wilts all-rounder James Hayward.
“We’ve always said that if we want to develop the ground to its full potential – and its pretty good now – we would need to get an additional set of covers so we can protect two strips and the bowler run-ups, especially when it gets busy.”
The covers South Wilts acquired came from the Ageas Bowl and were surplus to Hampshire Cricket requirements.
But transporting them 30 miles from Hedge End to Bemerton was far from straightforward.
“They were in pretty good condition, as you would expect, but too delicate to try and take apart, so we had to hire two telescopic lorries with built in cranes to load the covers on and off,” Hayward explained.
“That wasn’t all because we had two get an escort vehicle and send all the directional plans and route to the highway agency before we could start the operation.
“It wasn’t a simple operation but the local haulage company we engaged, Mackenzie Haulage, were superb and everything went off like clockwork.
“The journey took about 75 minutes – so apologies for anyone who got stuck behind the convoy on the A36 !”