Norfolk council bans hard cricket balls

Just when you think the health and safety police can't get any more ridiculous; they take it to an entirely new level.

A Norfolk cricket club has been barred from its home of 36 years after refusing to agree to a ban on hard balls being used during batting practice on the pitch.

The new health and safety ruling were drawn up Bacton parish council last month because of fears that members of the public could be hit and injured by stray balls.

But club officials have refused to agree to the new set of rules, according to BBC news, and club chairman David Gale said talks were now in place to move the team away from the village to a new base at a nearby high school.

He said: "We are a cricket team - how are we supposed to practice without cricket balls? Are they expecting us to use tennis balls instead?"

Despite a petition from local residents, the Norfolk Eastern Daily Press reports that
the parish council is refusing to back down, forcing the club to leave the village where it was founded 79 years ago.

Council clerk Elaine Pugh said there had been a couple of recent "near misses" in which other people on the field had almost been hit by cricket balls.

The new rules for the use of the field state: 'Batting or bowling practice with a cricket ball or other solid or semi-solid practice ball must only take place inside the batting cage [nets]. Under no circumstances may this take place elsewhere.'

Bacton Cricket Club honorary treasurer Ramone Stringer told the local newspaper: "It's very sad for Bacton, which should always have a cricket club. But we're 99.9% certain to move to North Walsham High School and change our name.

"The move will probably pay off, because North Walsham should have a cricket club and it will attract youngsters to play."

Despite calls from the government that excessive health and safety rules "had to stop" outlandish regulations continue to be enforced throughout the country.

We reported last week how overzealous health and safety rules prevented a Waitrose fish monger from filleting a fish for a customer

In the sporting world, schools have banned football games unless the ball is made of sponge and many have cancelled sports days altogether due to a myriad of health and safety fears.

Council killjoys have also banned people from flying kites on some beaches in case someone gets hit and prohibited dodgems cars from bumping each other through fear of whiplash or broken bones.
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