York-based Rufforth Cricket Club are on the brink of collapse after a spate of player departures has left them struggling to field a side for the new season, writes Ed White.
Rufforth decided to fold their second team for the forthcoming season at their annual general meeting last week and have organised an extra-ordinary meeting to determine the future of the club on Wednesday.
Only six club members turned up to the AGM held at the club’s pavilion earlier this month.
Rufforth, who were formed in 1946 and joined the Wetherby Cricket League in 1956, have lost more than ten players to other clubs in the area over the past four seasons, with six moving to play for Acomb Cricket Club in the York & District Senior League.
After further departures heading into the 2013 season, the Wetherby League club have been left without a first-team captain, treasurer, secretary and ground volunteers.
Jack Doyle, last season’s first-team captain, is stepping down due to work commitments and he appealed for a new generation of players to come in for the club to survive.
“To go forward it is imperative that the club gets new blood into the roles within the club that do all the unseen work,” he said. “Without these roles being filled, there will be no longer be a club.
“It would frankly be a disaster for such a well established club to no longer be in full action.
“I personally have played cricket for this club from the age of being able to hold a bat and it has a great welcoming feel.”
The first team finished sixth in Wetherby League division three last season but the second team only mustered four wins, including one forfeited match, all year as they scrambled to find players each week.
The club folded their youth set-up four years ago owing to a lack of volunteers and they considered dropping the second team before the start of last season as player numbers fell.
They carried on with two teams as the loss of the second XI would cause financial problems but Doyle said the lack of players had forced the club to rethink.
Doyle said: “Last season we showed a better togetherness and club spirit. We had a lot of young players wanting to play but with school and university distractions it has been hard to find players to be regularly involved.”
The club also plays in the Whixley Evening League on Thursdays and should the future of the first team be secured, they will continue in both competitions.
To get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Doyle on 07890 813436.