BARTESTREE & Lugwardine look set to be playing in the Worcestershire County League next season.

The club voted by a big majority to move on from the GB Liners Marches League at an EGM last week.

“There were 27 in favour, six did not mind either way and there was one abstention,” said club stalwart Derrick Jones.

“It is the right time for the club and the players want to go, and that includes the second team.”

Jones said that the club’s facilities had been inspected by Worcestershire League officials and given the green light with their entry into Division Four due to be ratified this week. The go-ahead club will be able to boast a new state-of-the-art practice nets complex which was opened in the presence of representatives from the England and Wales Cricket Board as well as many club members and guests Herefordshire Cricket and the England and Wales Cricket Board identified the club for support due to the strength of their junior development programme and for their particular focus on women’s and girls’ cricket.

The ECB partnered by Sport England awarded a grant of £39,348 towards the total cost of around £52,500 for the three-bay synthetic practice area.

Additional funding was provided by a generous donation from Clive Richards OBE and grants from The Lord’s Taverners, The Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation, The Rank Foundation and Carlsberg. The nets facility was designed and constructed to the highest specifications, using their unique netting structure, sub-surface preparation and carpet materials, by Total-play Ltd.

Following an introduction from John Huband, the ECB regional funding and facilities manager, the nets were officially opened by Laura Newton, ECB business support manager and former opening bat and fast bowler for the England Women’s Cricket Team.

Laura then gave a demonstration of cricket skills with club members, focusing on the up-and-coming junior girls.

''We were delighted to receive this grant and want to express our appreciation to ECB and Sport England, and to Ed Price of Herefordshire Cricket for his solid support throughout this process,” said secretary Nigel Shore. “It is a recognition of how far we have come since the club was formed in 1997. Our next big target is as a focus hub for the development of women’s and girls’ cricket.”