HOWZAT! Politicians join forces in battle to save world’s oldest cricket club

A battle to save the world’s oldest cricket club has has taken a step closer to success.

Mitcham cricket ground, formed in 1683, has become somewhat of a local treasure in the borough of Merton, with the cricket club priding itself on tradition after having played a game annually for the last 333 years.

The cricket club are former Surrey champions and current club President David M Smith played for England in the 1980s.

However, after the cricket pavilion, picture above, was put at risk due to hotel development and lack of legal security provided by the landowners, locals became increasingly concerned with the uncertain fate of the asset due to the rapid plans to develop the area.

In a statement issued yesterday, several of Merton’s leading politicians recognised the significance  the club holds in the community thanks to its history.

The statement said: “Merton is immensely proud of the 333-year tradition of playing cricket on the Green in Mitcham.

“We are aware of the difficulties faced by Mitcham Cricket Club due to the uncertain tenure of Mitcham cricket pavilion.

“As part of any development proposals for the site we are united in our desire to see the transfer of Mitcham cricket pavilion and all its operational land and buildings into community ownership and management through transfer of the freehold or provision of a 999-year lease at a peppercorn rent ahead of any new development.”

Tony Burton, Mitcham Cricket Green Community & Heritage Secretary said: “We are delighted by this all-party commitment to securing Mitcham cricket pavilion for the community.”

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