A BELOVED local cricket club is getting a fresh lick of paint as bosses aim to tackle issues that had been ‘put off’ during the season.

With an enforced halt to the cricket league, members at Houghton Main Cricket Club have been spending their spare time refreshing and improving areas of the club that needed updating.

The long-standing Middlecliffe club, which was gearing up for the start of the new season, has been given extra funds which has allowed the team an opportunity to perform the makeover.

During the lockdown, volunteers have trimmed overgrown trees on the boundary of the field, repainted the scoreboard and the clubhouse’s changing rooms.

Major renovations, however, have been made on the old score box and an extension to the clubhouse which had been run down for many months.

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The club’s new makeover has been funded by two stalwarts of the club, Robert Wagstaff and Ernie Heseltine.

Kevin Osborne, from Houghton Main Cricket Club, said: “The major renovation is on the old score box, which has been looking sorry for itself in recent years.

“It’s now been repaired, repainted and has had a new seating area installed.

“The future is looking good at Houghton Main with the extension to the clubhouse coming on well too.

“Hopefully when the Covid-19 restrictions on sport are lifted, local residents and visitors alike can enjoy a warm welcome at Houghton Main.”

The cricket season has been put on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak, which has meant the club had to close its doors to visitors.

Ernie added: “It is disappointing not to be starting the season, but everybody seems well.

“We’re doing some groundwork that we probably wouldn’t have got done if the season would have started.

“We’re applying by the two-metre rule and getting as much groundwork done as possible and hopefully starting with a bit of luck in July.”

Ernie is hopeful that the season will resume later in the year, but it will not open until it is completely safe to do so.

“We’ve had no information from the league just yet. The only information we’ve received is to stop playing.

“So hopefully it’ll give us time to complete the groundwork we’ve been doing so that we’re ready to greet our visitors if we’re free to play again in July.”