Cricket: Saffron Walden putting in preparations ahead of new East Anglian Premier League season

PUBLISHED: 12:55 26 March 2014

Saffron Walden Cricket Club's ground at Anglo American Playing Fields.

Saffron Walden Cricket Club's ground at Anglo American Playing Fields.

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Saffron Walden are adamant they won’t be beaten by the weather as they gear up for the start of the new East Anglian Premier League season next month.

Cricket clubs the length and breadth of the UK bore the brunt of the heavy storms this winter and the Anglo American Playing Fields were no exception.

While their pitch remained relatively unscathed from the wind and rain, access to ground itself wasn’t so lucky with flooding forcing the club into action.

As part of the 13th annual NatWest CricketForce, the club will get its ground into shape on April 5 – two weeks before the season opener at home to Horsford.

A record-breaking 2,014 clubs are registered to take part, with fixtures secretary Chris Larlham hopeful the start of the season isn’t impacted by the bad winter weather.

“Last year there was talk of delaying the start of the season because of the weather,” he said. “Hopefully that won’t be the case this year.

“There hasn’t been any flooding on the ground but the track leading to the ground has been flooded, which caused a few problems.

“We’ve used the scheme before and it always helps us in getting the ground ready for the start of the season.”

Saffron Walden finished last season in fourth in the East Anglian Premier League and Larlham is looking for an upgrade across the board this term.

“Our third XI were promoted and all of our teams finished in the top four of their leagues,” he added.

“This year we’re aiming to have all our teams finish in the top three and the second XI are looking to get promoted.

“We have one or two new players and a good youth development scheme too. We’re hoping everyone will be promoted – if it ever stops raining!”

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