AN historic cricket club that folded more than two years ago will see senior players back in action next month.

Etherley Cricket Club, near Bishop Auckland, which was founded in the 1840s, used to be one of the top sides in Teesdale and once included professional players from the West Indies and India.

But a run of defeats in the Durham County League, combined with dwindling interest, saw the senior side fold in May 2011.

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Inspired by three junior teams which have continued to thrive, a group of parents are stepping out from the sidelines for a new training programme.

They will run for 12 weeks from Thursday, February 6, at Bishop Auckland College and will continue outdoor when the weather allows. At a cost of £2, those completing the course will receive a year’s club membership and a club t-shirt.

They have been organised as part of County Durham Sport’s Move into Sport programme that aims to encourage people at risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease to get active.

John Raw, the club’s youth development officer, said the move is part of a five-year plan launched in 2011 which includes a senior side playing again, starting with a season of friendly fixtures in 2014.

It will also promote the health benefits of the sport to both men and women. For details call Mr Raw on 01388-832551.