The rain keeps coming. Relentless and overpowering, mother nature – in the guise of the El Nino weather phenomenon – has handed out a kicking again and again to these islands since November.
In Yorkshire, where we’re used to witnessing all manner of freakish and cruel weather, Storm Desmond even briefly transformed the limestone lip of Malham Cove in the Dales into the highest waterfall in England, as if to demonstrate the exceptional rainfall.
Of course, the real story is how thousands have had their homes damaged and livelihoods threatened as wave after wave of weather fronts from Eva to Frank did their worst.
It is unprecedented, we keep hearing. Well, tell that to the people of Carlisle, York or Hebden Bridge who have repeatedly seen their businesses, houses and communities devastated over the past decade.
In the realm of cricket, extraordinary and awful scenes filtered out across social media. Who can forget Carlisle Cricket Club’s pavilion almost totally submerged like a scene from a Hollywood disaster blockbuster?
Saltaire Cricket Club is a tranquil place to watch a game, as I have done, sitting outside the Half Moon Café near the statue of the llamas. Likewise, Copley Cricket Club, whose stunning modern pavilion is framed by the railway arches.
Well, those llamas made the national news as the River Aire burst its banks while Copley, itself no stranger to the Calder and Hebble Navigation turning the outfield into a lake, was once more underwater.
Many more cricket clubs are going to need assistance as they put in insurance claims, dry out their infrastructure and attempt to get ready in time for the 2016 season in April.
Subsequent flooding across the festive period and into 2016 has prompted Yorkshire County Cricket Club, together with the Yorkshire Cricket Board (YCB) and the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation to create the ‘Yorkshire Cricket Floods Taskforce’ who’ll be working with the region’s cricket clubs impacted by the recent floods.
WATCH THIS VIDEO…
Do have look at this video which talks through what’s being done across the region and also shares a collection of images from clubs which hint at the scale of damage.
Sadly, this isn’t over when the sun finally pokes its head out for a day, even allowing for weeks of settled weather, which doesn’t look feasible.
Waiting for the waters to subside to assess the damage is the launchpad for the lengthy clean-up operation at clubs across Yorkshire and further afield, replacing and repairing.
There is dedication and devotion at each of these clubs – whether Masham, Mytholmroyd or Bradford & Bingley, to name a few – and they all have their own stories as to the fallout from this treacherous weather.
Tong Park Esholt Cricket Club have been fighting a losing battle trying to pump water off their land for days that has seen caravans washed onto their site while Bolton Percy, from the York Senior Cricket League, could only access their clubhouse by canoe shortly after Christmas.
How can you help?
Why not approach your local cricket club directly to see how they’ve been affected and what they’re most in need of at this time?
Secondly, you can donate to the Yorkshire Cricket Floods Appeal online or send a cheque made payable to ‘Yorkshire Cricket Foundation’ to the Yorkshire Cricket Floods Appeal, Yorkshire Cricket Board, Headingley Cricket Ground, Leeds, LS6 3DP. (**Please indicate that the donation is for the Yorkshire Cricket Floods Appeal). Individual cricket clubs may well have set up their own fundraising initiatives too.
Clubs will be insured but each will have their own particular cover and certainly won’t be protected for all eventualities with the combined cost across all affected clubs just in Yorkshire likely to run to tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds.