A LOCAL cricket club has become the world's first to serve a fully vegan-based menu.

The chairman of Earley Cricket Club, Gary Shacklady, became a vegan recently and believed that match teas weren't suitable for a lot of people.

READ MORE: Miami Burger closes its doors in Reading's Oracle

Four of the club's players have adopted vegan lifestyles outside the club, inspired by the chairman's transformation.

The club's next battle is with the world organisers of cricket to allow them to change the cricket ball from a leather one, and they are currently trialling synthetic leather balls.

Earley Cricket Club is now offering home-made vegan food as a standard option to 'promote inclusivity, sustainability and healthy eating, as well as compassion towards animals.'

It follows in the footsteps of Forest Green Rovers, the world’s first vegan football club, which introduced an entirely vegan menu two years ago.

Mr Shacklady said: "With a fully vegan match tea, we can cater for all dietary and lifestyle requirements.

"The teas have been well received as our players understand and support the reasoning behind the decision.

"Many of them do not follow a vegan lifestyle away from the club but are increasingly aware of the issues around meat, dairy and egg consumption, and have made efforts to reduce it.

"Visiting teams have praised our teas and the plates tell the full story - each week they are piled up high, then emptied very quickly.

"The only complaints are about the need to resume a cricket match with a stomach full of delicious vegan food!"

Food served at cricket matches usually involves sandwiches with meat fillings, with a fish, cheese or egg alternative option, and the snacks are often cocktail sausages, sausage rolls and mini scotch eggs.

Players and visitors at Earley Cricket Club will now be offered a range of vegan home-made meals, such as curries, pizzas, stir-fries and more.

Dominika Piasecka, spokeswoman for The Vegan Society, said: "We love to see organisations make a real difference and a vegan menu benefits both animals and humans.

"Offering plant-based food as default is inclusive, cheap and convenient, as well as contributing to a healthier society and more sustainable food choices that don’t harm others.

"We hope other clubs and organisations will follow Earley Cricket Club’s decision to switch to an all-vegan menu for everyone's benefit."

Vegan events have previously been organised on the grounds of other clubs, such Essex County Cricket Club and Edgbaston Cricket Ground, but neither offers an entirely vegan menu.