ONE of St Helens’ oldest sporting institutions has been forced to pull out of this season’s senior leagues - throwing its future into serious doubt.
St Helens Cricket Club, which was formed way back in 1843, will not operate at senior level in the BFS Liverpool and District Competition in the forthcoming season, it has been confirmed.
The decision was made following an Extraordinary General Meeting held at the club’s Windleshaw Road base at end of last month to urgently discuss the future of the club.
Club chiefs say a shortage of senior first and second team players forced the club’s hand.
A merger with St Helens Recs - possibly under a new name such as St Helens Town Cricket Club - had been mooted during the winter months and a number of St Helens CC players have now signed for their neighbours.
Rivals Recs, based at Ruskin Drive, have also struggled to survive in recent years.
St Helens CC’s first, second and third XIs have all been withdrawn from the leagues.
It was initially hoped that the club would still be able to field a couple of youth teams in this summer’s knock-out competitions - but that hope was dashed following a meeting on Monday night (February 27).
It is understood that the club’s Dentons Green base will be maintained as a cricketing facility and at the same time the club also intends to continue operating as a social club.
St Helens CC was formed in the same year as the first publication of the Charles Dickens novel A Christmas Carol.
Club secretary Evelyn Shepherd told the Reporter: “That’s it as far as cricket is concerned for St Helens Cricket Club for the moment. It’s very, very sad.
“Unfortunately, we have suffered a shortage of senior players at first and second team level. There’s been no problems with the younger players.”