A cricket tournament played on a newly resurfaced pitch in Accrington proved to be a big hit.

The new pitch at Bullough Park was installed after requests from local residents and councillors. 

At a special knockout event held at the park recently, Hyndburn MP Sara Britcliffe joined local councillors to hand out awards to the winners and runners up.

Speaking on the day, she said: “It is fantastic to be here at Bullough Park. Well done to all the lads who were involved with the teams and well done to all the winners.

“It has been such a great day and we want to see more of this at Bullough Park.”

Central Ward councillor Mohammed Younis and Portfolio Holder for Levelling Up said: “I want to thank everyone who made this possible.

“This is a new pitch for Hyndburn and we want to encourage more of these types of facilities in the area.

“These facilities help to improve health.”

The new pitch was built to English and Welsh cricket standards and is an all-weather wicket.

The long overdue renovation of the pitch has been welcomed by local cricketers.

Speaking at an earlier unveiling of the cricket pitch, keen cricketer Allah Dad said: “In the past, local cricketers would play on tarmac within the surrounding area and they used to complain to us that they were getting bad knees and they didn’t have the space to play in.

"It certainly doesn’t encourage children to want to start playing, so this new opportunity is brilliant.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Lancashire league and local club cricketer Saeed Ullah, said: “I have played for Lancashire league and within local clubs, so I am really pleased to see this new wicket pitch. 

“This used to be a proper ground and there used to be mid-week leagues held here back in the 90s – it is a historical ground for cricketing league and all the ex-professionals used to play here in mid-week leagues, so I am pleased to see it returned to its former glory.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Cllr Sajid Mahmood said: “I would like to thank all the team and everyone who has played a part in making this a reality, the young people and cricketers in the area have a space to play safely now.”

“I would like to also mention Qazi Nadeem Thaj. He has also been an influence for several years and he really wanted to see a pitch here. He will definitely be using the pitch and was looking forward to this becoming a reality.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Deputy Leader of Hyndburn Council and portfolio holder for green spaces, Cllr Steven Smithson said: “I am really proud we have been able to make this a reality in time for summer and look forward to seeing people of all ages enjoying this great addition to Bullough Park.

“Thank you to our parks team who do a fantastic job and to everyone who has been involved in this cricket wicket being put in place.”

Many people from across the community have welcomed the new pitch.

In the days before the tournament, a swastika had been scrawled on the pitch by vandals but was removed in time for the successful event to take place. 

It is the second time this year that racist graffiti has been daubed on community assets in the Spring Hill area.

Kimberley Whitehead, councillor for the Spring Hill ward, reported the incident to police.

She told the Lancashire Telegraph: “We have seen an increase in hate crime reports in recent months across Spring Hill. 

“This concerning and unsettling for residents in the area and I have reported the latest incident to the police and the council."

Pictures by Nasir Hussain with contribution from Shakil Salam of Dunya News