Mumford visit sparks fears for Lewes St Michael’s Cricket Club

Lewes St Michaels Cricket Club, formed more than 120 years ago, fears its future has been put in doubt by the forthcoming Mumford & Sons concert in the town.

The club said Lewes District Council cannot guarantee the Convent Field being fit for use for the remainder of the season after the July event and in a worst case scenario it could be up to two years before cricket can be played at the venue again.

At least four cricket teams totalling seven sides use the two squares, and it is also used for football and stoolball.

Lewes St Michaels said not one of these clubs has received an official letter explaining why they cannot use the Convent Field on the weekend of July 19-21 or the possible outcome should too much damage be caused to the field.

Chairman Steve Crowhurst said that if wickets are not ready for the following season this would seriously put the club at risk of folding.

He said: “As a club and committee we think this is a wonderful opportunity and congratulate the district council for attracting such a big name band to the town. None of this we object to.

“What we do have concerns about is the choice of venue that could have very serious consequences for us and other Convent Field users. Surely other sites within the town would have better festival-goer and vehicle access.

“We know that the wickets will be protected to some level but that they will still make up part of the main arena. With 25,000 people attending, walking and dancing over the field, it is hard to imagine it being damage free.

“Assurances have been made to return the field to its present state but in what time scale and what cost to Lewes taxpayers?”

Mr Crowhurst added: “The Convent Field Trust, set up partly to protect cricket, could unwittingly be said to have approved a concert that could end cricket in Lewes.

“We shall all be hoping for wall to wall sunshine before during and after the event so that our worst fears are not realised.”

Lewes St Michaels CC has four senior sides and a fledgling junior team. Because of the Mumford & Sons concert, the club has has been forced to make alternative arrangements to fulfil their Saturday league fixtures but this means them playing in Seaford, Isfield and Brighton, 15 games in total.