A LONG-STANDING West Fife cricket club is determined not to be stumped ahead of the new season by offering new players to take up the sport.

Broomhall, who are based in Charlestown, are pitching for new players beyond the boundary with an open invite to new and returning players to join them for the start of indoor training on Sunday.

The club field two teams in the East of Scotland Cricket Association league set-up, in Division Four and Division Eight, a Sunday team and even play midweek in a quicker eight-a-side format of the game.

But falling membership numbers have led them to launch a search for anyone who has an interest in playing the sport to get involved.

Phil Ward, Broomhall’s secretary, said that he wanted to put the club “back on the map” after both the first and second teams suffered relegation last year but wanted to encourage people from all backgrounds to give the sport a go.

He said: “We’ve been here for a number of years but members are dropping so we want to try and put the club back on the map. We’re trying to get players back and interested; we have juniors playing and people coming from Dunfermline, Dalgety Bay and Edinburgh to play for us but not as many as we’d like.

“We were lucky a few years ago to have a very good junior section but they grow up and head off to university and things. A lot of our players are now on the mature side of 30; I’ve been at the club for 12-13 years and one of my sons played. He played for Fife but now is at uni in Dundee and that has happened to a lot of guys.

“We want to start again this season and a bit more needs to be done to keep cricket having as high a profile as it has before. Within West Fife, there’s 10 clubs with at least two teams each, and I believe at one time cricket was the second- biggest participation sport behind football, which was very good.

“We hope people will come along and people from all backgrounds are welcome.”

Phil continued: “One of our players of the year last year was Lisa O’Neill, who is a javelin thrower (with Pitreavie AAC) but is also an excellent cricketer. We can offer something outdoors in the fresh air when the good weather comes, we help feed people into Fife junior cricket and have had players go on to play for the junior Scotland side.

“We’ve got our firsts playing in Division Four and the seconds in Division Eight. The aim for the firsts is to consolidate and get the youngsters who have been away to play to a good standard at that level, and for the second team we want to bring on the youth and get promoted, but for people to enjoy social cricket with a little pressure.

“We have a team playing in a Sunday league for those who can’t make Saturdays and a midweek, eight-a-side league which is played slightly quicker. It is a good format.

“Any sports person who can run, catch and throw can play cricket. Anyone who wants to come and give it a go is welcome.”

The club, who can provide kit as well as coaching, will hold their first indoor training session at Cluny Clays, by Kirkcaldy, on Sunday from 11am-1pm.

For more information, visit Broomhall’s website at http://broomhallcricket.hitssports.com.