CRICKET has been banned at a Bournemouth pitch because stray balls are considered a danger to the public.
Zurich Insurance will not cover the council for play at Kinson Manor on The Broadway.
The home club, the Suttoners, must move to an alternative ground – Canford Arena, Strouden Park or Slades Farm.
Derek Hopkins, 63, who founded the team in 1967, said: “We share the concerns – we are not callous.
“But cricket has been played here since World War 2 and I have not known anyone get injured.
“We get on well with the neighbours. There’s about three that don’t back us and there must be more than 100.”
The club’s insurance pays for broken windows but the insurers are concerned about injuries to people.
Richard Rigler, the club chairman, said: “The council built a fence last year at one end and the number of balls going over went from 42, to about 7 or 8.
“The council reckon it would be £120,000 to put a fence up all the way around.”
He said the high quality facilities and club tradition meant the team was reluctant to move.
He added: “The Queen’s speech was all about sport facilities for youngsters. There’s a couple of youngsters here almost in tears.”
The Suttoners will have three to four sides next season, and a youth team called the Colts. There is also a football team.
The council said potential fence prices had not been determined and that Zurich had not confirmed it would insure the site even if a fence was built.
Andy McDonald, the parks manager, said the council considered all possibilities but decided a fence would not reduce the risk to an acceptable level.
“As the landlord we take risk management very seriously, and are not prepared to risk a cricket ball causing a serious injury,” he said.
Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns said he hoped the council would take a second look.
He said: “The club caters for a lot of young people from one of the more challenging parts of Bournemouth and has a good community scheme.”