EVESHAM Cricket Club has launched an urgent fund-raising appeal as the severe flooding of recent months threatens to end its 159-year innings.

As water rose up again around the Albert Road ground last week, the club announced a Flood Relief Fund to help pay for damage caused by flooding in November and December.

On that occasion the ground was left underwater for several weeks, causing damage to the square, outfield, artificial wickets, sightscreens, perimeter fencing and equipment.

The full financial implications are still being calculated but chairman John Barrett believes that about £25,000 – and quickly – will be required to set things right in time for the summer.

The English Cricket Board (ECB) has been asked for help but Mr Barrett believes the club could still be left stumped without goodwill and donations from the Evesham public.

“In keeping with most cricket clubs, our ground maintenance costs are high,” he said.

“Trying to control our overheads and manage cricket games is difficult, but when the Avon floods to this level causing the amount of damage now experienced, we just cannot meet the cost to restore it to the standard required for league or even social cricket.”

Tom Hill, director of cricket for Worcestershire Cricket, added: “The weather has had a dramatic impact on all clubs this season, but none has been as hard hit as Evesham.

“Without external support it is unlikely that the club will continue and this historic ground will be lost forever.”

Donations can be made online to a/c 02322824, sort code 30-93- 11 or by cheque payable to Evesham Cricket Club to Mr N Rowland, hon treasurer, 31 Fairwater Close, Evesham WR11 1GF.