New beginning for Cricket in Queens Park after a £600,000 transformation of the Allan Park Pavilion.
Posted on: 05 May 2015
A new beginning for Cricket in Queens Park after a £600,000 transformation of the Allan Park Pavilion.
Allan Park Pavilion in Queen’s Park, Bedford opened its doors to cricket on Saturday 25th of April in a match between Queens Park and Bletchley, after its massive refurbishment programme was completed earlier this year. The exciting and innovative Council project attracted over £600,000 in investment from key organisations such as the England and Wales Cricket Board and Sport England.
A Queens Park select XI convincingly beat a very strong Wolverton team by reaching the required target of 87 by losing 5 wickets. The pitch actually played very well as did Captain Nazam Shah who took 3-5 in 5 overs along with Jahangir (Balya) who also made an impact with 3-13 of 4.3. In a low scoring game, Mohammed Irshard top scored with 23, followed by Hassan Yousaf who made 21.
Over 200 people turned up from local community to support what has been one of the most impressive community project’s of its kind in recent Queens Park history, thanks to a successful partnership between the QP Cricket Association, Beds Cricket Ltd and the Council.
Works began on the pavilion in June 2014 and were completed in December, making the building at Allan Park one of the most advanced sporting facilities of its kind in the Borough. The building now provides a clubroom with an integrated kitchen and toilets, 6 individual team changing rooms, 2 Official Rooms, disabled access facilities and a spectator’s area and canopy.
The pavilion complements the vastly improved cricket squares, football pitches and transformation of the outdoor sports court area, which includes tennis, basketball and 5 aside football pitch and will be the proud home for QP Cricket Association, QP Crescents FC and Bedford Ladies FC who also played an important role with the bid for funding from Sport England.
Tariq Iqbal Chairman of the Queen’s Park Cricket Association said “
The Queens Park Cricket Association has been working very closely for over 2 years with Martin Darlow, CEO of Bedfordshire Cricket Ltd and Phil Nicholson, Parks Development Officer to further build on the council’s initial plans to create a ‘caged’ cricket facility at Allan Park. During those initial meetings back in Jan 2013 we put the case forward for the development of the Allan Park changing rooms into a modern cricket pavilion and improvements to the cricket squares
The improvements to the Allan Park Pavilion and playing surfaces finally give cricket in Queens Park the opportunity to progress to another level; the quality of the facilities before now have prevented clubs from progressing into some of the higher standard leagues. The development of talent has seen an incredible rise over the last 10 years with over a dozen senior teams and representation across all junior levels including a girls’ team.
No other area in the whole of Bedfordshire has a higher concentration of organised cricket within a square mile and I’m glad to see that we now have facilities to match the desire for the game and talent that we have locally. The new facilities will allow teams to host the best clubs across Bedfordshire and create more opportunities for local players to reach the highest levels of the game in the county.
Bedfordshire is very lucky to have such a passionate and inspirational CEO in Martin Darlow who has worked relentlessly since his appointment to raise the bar at every level of the game. We are grateful for his support and dedication to the Allan Park project. He has not only helped QPCA to achieve something that seemed impossible a few years ago, but continues to work his magic across the whole of Bedfordshire. I believe at the last count, the total investment in projects that he has been involved in is more than 5 million! I’m looking forward to seeing him on an OBE Honours list some time very soon!
Special thanks also to Phil Nicholson, Parks Development Officer who has gone the extra mile in this project and has opened the doors for continued engagement with all the various cricket bodies. “
Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson said: “This comprehensive refurbishment project is delivering a high quality sports facility for current and future generations in Queens Park. The Council has worked closely with the cricketers and others who use the site to help shape the work on what will be a sports facility that Queens Park and Bedford can be proud of. Thanks to everyone who has been involved for their efforts on behalf of the community. The project has been designed to help create an environment that will encourage people of all ages, including children and young people, to take part in and enjoy sports locally in Queens Park.”