POULTON CC have been asked to host five county matches by the Gloucestershire Cricket Board – a tremendous accolade for the club’s groundstaff.

Poulton is incredibly lucky to have five groundsmen – with several more maintaining the superb outfield at ‘Englands’.

As a result of their sustained hard work, the county cricket board has requested that the club host two women’s fixtures against the Netherlands (Sunday, May 24) and Wiltshire (Sunday, August 16), respectively from 11am.

Gloucestershire Over 50s men will take on Wiltshire over 50s on May 6 and there are two junior fixtures making up the schedule, with the U13s against Warwickshire on June 16 (1pm) and the U15s Girls XI playing Cornwall on Wednesday, August 12 at 2pm.

The Gloucestershire Senior Women’s team match against the Netherlands is a particular highlight.

Poulton CC is laying the foundations for the development of girls’ and ladies’ cricket at the club and over the summer is hoping to encourage new players to the game.

Club chairman David Dunn said: "England’s women’s cricket team is the best in the world, having won their World Cup in March.

"Gloucestershire Women boast two from the England squad and we are overwhelmed to be hosting such a prestigious match. We see this as another step to fulfilling the potential of Poulton’s fabulous facilities and playing conditions."

The current Poulton groundstaff team is headed by Wayne Tinson, who recently joined the Institute of Groundsmanship, Mark Wright and Andy James as well as Pat and Neil Shaw. They are ably supported by Jim and John Nunn, who look after the outfield, and Joe Tinson.

As a unit they have been responsible for producing one of the best grounds in the county league for several years.

Club skipper Will Bathurst said: "Being a batsmen, I look forward to stepping out on our wicket all the time. I just wish I could spend more time out there!

"The guys do an amazing job and I’m happy the county has acknowledged that."