CIRENCESTER CC's new all-weather synthetic wicket will prove a major boost to the development of junior and women's cricket at the club.

Cirencester have been able to install the wicket courtesy of fund-raising by club members matched by a generous donation from St James’ Place.

The pitch has been designed to adjust to weather conditions so as not to be too fast and bouncy and means the club can offer more fixtures, avoiding pitch preparation and games being cancelled due to adverse weather.

The intention is for the club’s large junior section and the women’s team to use the facility for practice and matches.

Cirencester has also been busy preparing for the new season with the introduction of James Gilchriest as head coach.

“The club has set out a number of key objectives to achieve over a three-year period," said Tony Wood, head cricket operations.

"Two of these involve the establishment of a long term plan to offer and improve coaching across all age levels including seniors, which will be achieved under the guidance of James, and secondly to promote and develop junior girl’s and women’s cricket under the captaincy of women’s club captain Danielle Palmer."

The junior section’s growth and development has also seen a change with Tony Howell taking over this year as the new junior chairman.