Last year, Sheffield was selected as a pilot city, receiving £145,000 from the English Cricket Board to install ten artificial cricket pitches across the city, but Firth Park was not chosen as a location for the project.
A group of men living in the Firth Park area have been meeting up every week to play cricket together. With support from their local councillor, Abdul Khayum, they contacted Sheffield City Council, who took their case forward to the English and Yorkshire Cricket Boards, which awarded the council a further £9,500 to put in an extra wicket in Firth Park.
Councillor Mary Lea, cabinet member for Culture, Parks and Leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “As part of our ambition to become the most active city in the UK by 2020, it’s essential that we accommodate our residents’ needs and preferences for sport and physical activity.
“Since we completed the pitches in other parks across the city last year, participation in cricket has soared so I’m thrilled that the ECB and YCB have recognised the importance of good cricket facilities for this community. It will make a huge difference, not only in encouraging this group to continue playing but also in attracting even more people to the sport.”
Syed Naveed Hassan, who leads the local cricket group, said: “We have been playing cricket in the park for more than ten years, using an almost ‘make-shift’ facility which is not really fit for purpose and so we are absolutely delighted that we will now have a proper pitch to play on which will attract even more young people to the park.”
Work begins next month.