THE HEAT was on as Valley End Cricket Club formally launched its new clubhouse and pitches, with cricketing legend David Gower as guest of honour.

As the temperature rose into the 30s on Sunday, the former England captain cut a ribbon to officially open the building in Woodlands Lane, Chobham, opposite its original ground.

A select Valley End team then played a representative side from MCC – Marylebone Cricket Club –in a commemorative match, watched by around 300 socially distanced guests spread out around the pitch.

Club facilities manager Brian Barr said great lengths had been taken to ensure that people invited to the special day followed coronavirus infection-prevention measures. “We worked out how many we could safely invite and handed out facemasks as they arrived.

“We also restricted numbers in the clubhouse bar, with a one-way system, and the changing rooms weren’t used because that isn’t yet permitted.”

The Valley End side, which included first team members and players who have made a significant contribution to the club, beat the MCC team, which included some former Valley End members. “It was an enjoyable and friendly match,” said Brian.

For more details on this story, plus a picture spread, see the 13 August edition of the News & Mail, out in shops today