BURLEY Cricket Club's crowd funder appeal received a massive boost this week when Sport England pledged an additional £10,000 towards their target of £35,000 to improve the club's facilities for its talented youngsters.

Burley Parish Council have also been brilliant in supporting the initiative by pledging another £2,000 towards the cause.

The aim is to replace the surface of the practice nets which have done great service over the last 20 years. These have helped to produce England batter Harry Brook, currently playing in India in the World Cup and Yorkshire all rounder Matty Revis.

Director of Cricket Dave Cooper said: "After years of constant use the carpet of artificial grass and the surface beneath is starting to deteriorate. To produce more batters of international and first class standard you need a surface that produces a reliable bounce, not one where odd balls keep low or others may bounce unnaturally high."

The club runs introductory courses for five to eight year olds and since its inception over 400 boys and girls have enjoyed their "All Stars" experience.

It has junior teams at nine different age groups with four youngsters playing for Yorkshire age group teams and another six representing the Aire Wharfe Taverners representative teams. There is also a girls' hard ball team and a women's softball team, both of which won their respective leagues last season.

"The response from the village and the wider Wharfe Valley community has been incredible," said Dave Cooper. "Hundreds of people, many not connected directly to the club have made pledges, as have former players and local businesses. Collectively they have so far raised an unbelievable £10,000 which Sport England have now matched. In doing so they have been able to claim rewards for their pledges. These rewards are wide ranging from complimentary drinks at the bar and cricket teas in 2024, to guided walks on Ilkley Moor, bowls and golf lessons and fresh produce from a local allotment."

The appeal has to end by October 25 and the club has to find another £12,000 by then otherwise it loses the £10,000 from Sport England.

Dave added: "We're now within touching distance of reaching an incredible target. We do though need a final push to get over the line.

"Contributions no matter how small all add up and should you want to play your part in keeping the Wharfe valley as a centre of cricket excellence then the link below will take you to the crowd funder page."

Visit: https://tinyurl.com/mvww6u74 or simply search google for Harry Brook crowd funder.