EXCLUSIVE: Slough CC face Upton Court Park washout
Exclusive by Rob Stevens • Published 20 Jul 2012 08:30 0 Comments
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Slough CCs Upton Court Park home has been flooded by a combination of unseasonal torrential rain and a nearby blocked stream
SLOUGH CC's season could be in ruins after a nearby blocked stream and recent torrential rain flooded their Upton Court Park home.
Bobby Sher's side have already lost home fixtures against Gerrards Cross and Aston Rowant in recent weeks.
And the Home Counties Division Two West title contenders may have played their last home game of the summer with the local council suggesting the process to unblock the stream may take up to two months.
Sher told the Observer: "It's just our sort of luck at the moment, that's the weather and that's cricket. It's causing a problem but it's down to the amount of bad weather."
Slough 2nds have also lost crucial matches against Cookham Dean and Finchampstead 2nds in their bid to avoid relegation from Division 2a of the Thames Valley Cricket League.
Captain Ali Beg added: "We wanted to play the last two matches because we felt they were both winnable games.
"We were looking forward to playing them but what can you do?
"We possibly can't play this weekend because the ground is so wet. It's raining now the outfield is still wet.
"The groundsman hasn't been able to get out and cut the grass because it's just too soft."
The club have already failed in an attempt to re-route home fixtures to Eton College and the council have hinted at various issues that could potentially delay the essential repair work.
Slough Borough Council told the Observer that Datchet Common Brook - the nearby stream - is classified as a 'main river', meaning it is managed by the Environment Agency (EA) and not them.
The land ownership was supposed to pass to Slough as part of the 'cycleway project'.
The Land Registry, however, have raised concerns over the land transfer, complicating who is the current owner.
Slough CC's pitch is sited on the natural flood plain of the watercourse so it is not surprising the land should become waterlogged in bad weather.
The council have suggested to the EA that they might look at the situation but have not heard back, possibly suggesting that the situation isn't a priority to them or is caused by a problem downstream within the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead.
The legal position is that the land owner is ultimately responsible for maintenance of a watercourse.
The EA can either require that the landowner carry out work to reduce the flood risk or have permissive powers to do the work themselves.
This is complicated, however, by the fact that no one should carry out any work on a watercourse - except in an emergency situation - without a Land Drainage Consent from the EA. This includes their own work and this process normally takes at least two months.
Unless the EA consider the situation significantly serious to take urgent action, no-one is empowered to do anything.
Slough travel to Thame Town this Saturday (11:30am start) while the 2nd XI are due to welcome Basingstoke & North Hants 2nd XI.
SLOUGH CC have also reached the semi-finals of the Home Counties 20/20 competition that will be played at Sonning Lane, home of Reading Cricket Club this Sunday.
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