Horsham set to count the cost as festival finale is hit by the weather

The covers stayed on at a gloomy and wet Cricketfield Road on Sunday
The covers stayed on at a gloomy and wet Cricketfield Road on Sunday

Horsham are set to count the cost of two lost days of play after this year’s annual Festival of Cricket was hit by the weather on Sunday.

Festival organiser Barry Peay admitted is was a sad note to end on as persistent rain meant that Sussex’s Royal London One-Day Cup match against Lancashire had to be abandoned.

Sussex rained off

Sussex rained off

Overnight rain which continued into the afternoon meant the opening game of the competition at Cricketfield Road was initially delayed.

With full covers still on the pitch and the forecast no better, the decision was made to abandon the 50-over fixture without a ball being bowled.

The match was the finale of the festival after Nottingham beat Sussex in their County Championship clash in just three days last week - meaning Horsham will miss out of two days of profit.

Peay warned they won’t know the true cost until the final totals have been counted but it will be considerable less than their 2014 total which was more than £10,000.

He said: “We have had some difficult four-day games in the past - the Somerset game which lasted a day and a half and Surrey which was effected by rain and high winds, but we have always been preserved by a decent Sunday game, which obviously did not happen this year.

“The costs of the festival are largely fixed and the income depends on people coming in through the gates. Last year, we managed to make a far healthier profit over the four-day game and then we had a very good Sunday. This year, we have obviously not been so lucky.

“The effort that goes into making it what it is is a two week thing now and I feel sorry for the large amount of volunteers that do help out.”

Horsham receive 25 per cent of the takings and have an agreement with Sussex that the event is not insured, mainly due to it being difficult to get a payment and prove the loss of earnings with insurance companies.

Last year’s profit was a jump from the falling amount of previous years and Peay added: “We take the rough with the smooth and one good thing was that with not so many vehicles in on the Sunday, the ground was not damaged too much.

“Because 2014 was such a good festival, when it is not as good it pales in comparison. I think it is sad when you can do nothing about it. We now just hope for good fixtures in 2016 and look forward to having a good festival, you have got to stay optimistic in this game.”

Sussex expressed their disappointment at the outcome but thanked Horsham Cricket Club and Horsham Sports Club for their hospitality.

On bit of news from the ladies in the tea tent was that they made a profit on Sunday of £354.98, which added to that from the County Championship match totalled £908.87 for the club.

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