Paddington Rec cricket teams query pitch prices: ‘It’s almost £1 a run’

Dark skies above Paddington Rec. Picture: Paddington Rabbits

Dark skies above Paddington Rec. Picture: Paddington Rabbits - Credit: Archant

Cricket clubs using Paddington Rec have been left baffled by booking fees after confusion over new prices for 2020.

The Paddington Rabbits and Maida Vale clubs have both complained that the loss of a 40 per cent "resident's discount" has made hire of the cricket pitch unaffordable.

That would mean it now costs the clubs £42.55 an hour - and for a six or seven hour cricket match, this can add up to around £300. But Rec bosses reassured users that with the right ActiveWestminster cards, booking could actually be cheaper.

Although the cricketers queried the way this message had been relayed, Andrew Wolfman from the Rabbits said he was pleased to have it clarified that the ActiveWestminster card discount applied to bookings, as this was not what the Rabbits had previously been told. He added they were now "looking forward to hearing all about these massive new bargains".

It is understood that Rec bosses have temporarily reverted pricing to 2019 levels while reevaluating how to proceed.

Andrew had earlier told the Wood&Vale: "We're cheerfully amateur, everybody-welcome, fledgling cricket team that plays its games at the Rec. Or at least we did until the price of pitch hire went up to a whopping £42.55 an hour - howzat for a bargain?"

Andrew added that the team were "quite sure" they were not the only ones affected, and said it was "a shame" coming on the back of a World Cup-winning summer for the England national team.

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Pav Singh, who captains Maida Vale Cricket Club, told this newspaper: "For a seven hour game, we're looking at close to £300, that's a lot to pay. We're a local club for locals, and people don't want to have to travel to Regent's Park."

But in a joint statement Westminster Council and Everyone Active - who jointly run the venue - said an "administrative error" saw an incorrect price displayed.

They claimed clubs with the new ActiveWestminster mark should get a booking discount of 15pc, while adult ActiveWestminster card-holders should get a 30pc discount.

The spokesperson said this meant it was "now actually cheaper for Westminster-based clubs to hire our cricket nets and pitch" They added: "We've corrected this error and made sure all our users know about the new prices, and the fantastic discounts we offer to our residents."