Cricket is to return to Cintra Park after Reading Borough Council Policy Committee awarded a grant of £61,000.

Through the Community Infrastructure Levy, a non-turf pitch and two training nets are to be set up in the park, returning the popular sport to Cintra.

Cricket has been absent from the centre of Reading for some time, with the midweek Reading league having to play in Charvil.

The new pitch means that many of the teams based in the centre of Reading will no longer need to drive into the surrounding counties to be able to play cricket.

 Some of the clubs to benefit include Elmhurst Cricket Club, Berkshire Royals Cricket Club and Jakaas Bandey.

(Image: Reading Borough Council)

Dr Jonathan Dewsbury, Chairman of Elmhurst Cricket Club said “We can't wait to get playing at our local park along with our friends at Berkshire Royals, and Jhakaas Bandey.

“This is just the first step though, and we now need to agree on a lease with RBC on the use of the clubhouse that has been disused for some years.”

Dr Dewsbury continued: “Reading is the 3rd most unequal ‘city’ in terms of wealth (Centre for Cities, Gini co-efficient 2017). This is illustrated perfectly by the location of Cintra Park, which straddles two of the most deprived and affluent areas in the whole of England.

"Returning cricket to Cintra can integrate communities from different backgrounds, religions, and cultures. The benefits of returning sport to the centre of a community should not be underestimated in terms of the impact on physical and mental health. I am grateful to Green Cllr Dave McElroy for helping us put the case to the council and “batting” for us to get this approved.

"We are hoping with time we can build a youth team and encourage more people to get involved and benefit from playing regular sport. We can build on the cricketing heritage that Reading has. For example, the West Indian cricketer Gordon Greenidge, who scored two double centuries against England in the 1984 test series grew up and went to school at Alfred Sutton.”.  

Green Cllr Dave McElroy (Redlands) said: “Jonathan is generous in his praise; he has worked very hard to make this happen. Beyond that he’s already said it all really. I am excited to see what this funding unlocks for us as a community. If anyone else has ideas for other wonderful projects like this then Green councillors are always listening.”