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Cricketers Geraint Jones, Simon Jones, Rob Key and commentators Jonathan Agnew and Henry Blofeld join campaign to save Yalding Cricket Club

Stars from the world of cricket have added their support to a campaign to save a 200-year-old village club.

Ashes heroes Geraint Jones and Simon Jones MBE, Kent skipper Rob Key and commentators Jonathan Agnew and Henry Blofeld have all taken to Twitter to call on more members to join the team in Yalding, which is on the brink of closure.

Last week the Kent Messenger reported how repairing the damage caused by the 2013 Christmas floods, which submerged the Vicarage Road pavilion under four feet of water, had left the organisation on the brink of insolvency.

Kent and England Cricketer Geraint Jones
Kent and England Cricketer Geraint Jones

And with only 10 senior members on their books it means the club, which was founded in 1798, will struggle to field a team for the 2015 season in May.

It has led to the sporting stars taking to social media to urge people to join the team, many using the hashtag #SaveYCC, helped by Lashings Sports Bar tweeting famous faces to get them on board.

The club had invested more than £20,000 into the playing facilities just a few years before the damage. Now there is not enough money left to replace basic equipment, such as cricket balls.

Yalding Cricket Club 1st XI captain, James Fenn, said: "The reaction of the local community on the back of the flooding has been tremendous.

The pavilion at Yalding Cricket Club under water during the 2013 winter floods
The pavilion at Yalding Cricket Club under water during the 2013 winter floods
Flood damage at the pavilion
Flood damage at the pavilion

"Particular thanks must go to Yalding and Laddingford Football Club and to YALSA, the body that operates the pavilion.

"Their efforts in restoring the pavilion and coordinating local tradesman to do work free of charge has been incredible, and has got the pavilion into a state where it is still usable for both clubs.The whole cricket club is extremely grateful for all their hard work. 

"However, the cricket club is still desperately short of funds, players and a groundsman to prepare wickets. The reaction this week on social media to our cause has been unbelievable. It's great to see so many people, particularly the famous Kent cricketers, taking an interest in our small club."

For more on joining, or on the groundsman position, email jmfenn@clara.co.uk

Anyone who would like to contribute to YALSA's project to build a new pavilion out of the reach of future flood waters should contact jamiemassett@live.com

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