Fire-ravaged Olicanian cricket club ashes to be trophy – BBC News


Remains of Olicanian Cricket Club Image copyright Robert Brear
Image caption The pavilion was razed to the ground by the fire in the early hours of Sunday

Some of the ashes of a cricket club pavilion that was burned to the ground in a fire are to be collected and made into a memorial trophy.

The pavilion at Olicanian Cricket Club in Ilkley was burned to the ground in a fire early on Sunday.

Members of the club plan to play a match for “Ollie’s Ashes” when a new pavilion is opened.

A club spokesman said the irony of England’s Ashes performance was in contrast with the ashes the fire left.

A pre-school nursery for 35 children attached to the pavilion was also destroyed.

But Mark Dexter, a trustee of the club, said it was hoped a new pavilion could be in place “within 18 months to two years” and that opening would be marked with a memorial match.

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He said: “It’s ironic the real Ashes were taking place on Sunday (at Headingley, 15 miles away) when our pavilion was turned into a pile of ashes.

“We’re collecting ashes and have already found some charred bails among the wreckage which seems to have a nice symmetry.

“We’ll have a memorial match for ‘Ollie’s Ashes’ with some of the ashes recovered turning into a trophy.”

Mr Dexter said he was unsure what form the trophy would take.

He said a player from a touring side a couple of years ago had commented that the club’s ground and building was his “imagined cricketing heaven”.

Mr Dexter said: “But we’re a club now on life support with no stumps and no bails, we’ve been plunged into cricketing hell.”

Image copyright Robert Brear
Image caption Followers of the club were left devastated by the blaze that destroyed the building

The cricket club is in the Airedale and Wharfedale league and has three senior teams and juniors playing from Under-9s.

The club has risen from a “humble lower league club” to its present position on “decades of effort that have gone into the club”.

Yorkshire batsman Harry Brook and England under-19 player George Hill both played at the club.

Image copyright Olicanian Cricket Club
Image caption The Olicanian Club ground, before the fire, was once described as ‘cricketing heaven’

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