FROM the brink of closure to a planned expansion in just a year, even the former pro-cricketer behind his club’s survival plan is amazed at the speed of its revival.

Last year Crook Cricket Club was in dire straits with imminent closure a reality.

But a new committee was formed and now the club is looking to expand after seeing its membership and community use explode over the past 12 months.

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Committee chairman David Nevins, himself a former professional cricketer, said: “What people have brought to the club is amazing, we made an appeal for help and it has come in all shapes and sizes.

“Our aim has always been simple, to make Crook Cricket Club a premier club.

“We have a five year plan to do that, right now we are well on track and are probably even ahead of schedule.”

One of the key aims of the club is to have a team made up of talented home-grown players.

To that end they have created teams and training for under sevens, 11s, 13s, 15s, and 18s to feed into the senior squad.

“We want to find the local talent and grow it here within our club," he added.

“We have got an excellent coaching system now set up and you never know, the next England international could come up through our ranks – there’s no reason why they couldn’t.”

As well as the committee and volunteers who have helped turn the club around, Mr Nevins has been joined by two fellow former professionals, Steven Chapman and Andrew Pratt.

“They achieved a lot in the game and decided they wanted to give something back and help their hometown club.

“I am extremely grateful to them for doing that.”

Another ethos of Crook’s is for the club to be used by the community.

Mr Nevins added: “We used to be open one night a week, now it’s practically every night with various groups using our rooms or for private functions like christenings.

“We always knew opening up to the community would be key, now the community is really supporting us and see this as a valuable facility.”

The clubhouse has undergone a major facelift and as a result of the progress the club has made so far, Sport England has now said it will support an extension to the building.

For more information on volunteering for the club or joining the youth teams, contact Mr Nevins on 01388-762003.