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Britwell Salome Cricket Club in Oxfordshire has been forced to ban the hitting of sixes after an angry neighbour threatened to take it to court. Diana Attenborough, 69, complained that it was dangerous if the cricket balls fell within the grounds of her home at the end of the club's grounds.
The club is now enforcing a "local rule" after consulting the Oxfordshire Cricket Association. The new rule means that if a player hits a six, no runs will be scored. The club, which survives on donations and fundraising events, has also had to spend over £4,000 on installing a 50ft high net. After using up all its savings, the club discovered that Attenborough had put her home up for sale.
"We play on average two games a week for five months a year and have been in the village for over 85 years, in all that time we have not had any complaints other than those from Diana," Nigel Joyner, the club chairman, told the Daily Mail. "It means we've had to use up all of our funds, money we had hoped to use to replace our tractor so we can cut our grass and build a new shed as the old one is falling down. We understand she is concerned and a ball has gone over and smashed a pane once before which we covered the cost for but it is odd that she has now put her house on sale."
"Cricket is a way for many people to keep fit and socialise, it's a shame how one person can ruin that for the others," said Ross Joyner, the club captain. "There seems to be a lot of health and safety cases being taken to the extreme across the board and it's a bit worrying if that continues in this way."
The club initially installed a 15ft high net after first receiving the complaint but balls continued to land in Attenborough's garden. Attenborough, whose son is a barrister, has given the club a month to demonstrate that the problem has been solved by the new measures.
Keywords: Club/league cricket
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