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28 October 2014
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Berkshire Cricket

New pavilion at Pinkney's Green
The new pavilion at Pinkney's Green

Parky's Pinkney's pavilion premiere

Legendary chat show host Michael Parkinson has opened a brand new pavilion at Pinkney's Green cricket club, near Maidenhead, three years after its predecessor was destroyed by arsonists.

Legendary chat show host Michael Parkinson has opened a brand new pavilion at Pinkney's Green cricket club, near Maidenhead, three years after its predecessor was destroyed by arsonists.

In February 2004 it looked as though a hundred years of history at Pinkney's Green cricket club could have reached an end, when arsonists burnt down their old pavilion.

The club were in danger of folding, but a marathon three-year fundraising effort secured the cash needed to rebuild the pavilion and keep the team alive.

And as the 2007 village cricket season began, none other than local resident and television legend Michael Parkinson was on hand to open the new facilities.

'I feel like the Queen'

"It's a very important thing they've done here," Parkinson told BBC Berkshire.

BBC Radio Berkshire's Michael Williams spoke to Parky and Pinkney's Green members at the grand opening:
audio Listen: Parky at Pinkney's Green >
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"They've raised an awful lot of money as a tiny village club to build this beautiful pavilion, and the entire community's been involved.

"I wish everyone a good and happy future with the pavilion, it's a lovely setting. I feel like the Queen now - I've got to cut the ribbon."

Michael Parkinson with wife Mary
Parky and wife Mary at the MCG during the Ashes

"The insurance company gave us some initial money but the whole project's cost us about £160,000," club secretary Kevin Snapes told us, as local sides battled it out in a six-a-side competition to celebrate the grand opening.

"We wanted an event that would involve as much of the community as possible," added club captain Steve Greene.

"We thought a six-a-side contest with other local sides was ideal. It's amazing, we've got nearly 60 players all from local teams."

Parky: England 'humiliating'

Things are looking good for Pinkney's Green, but chat show champion Parkinson is less convinced about the fortunes of the national side.

Having just returned from the winter's Ashes debacle, Parky thinks it will be a while before England can be as proud as the members of Pinkney's Green.

"We got hammered by the Australians, it was humiliating, and I was there to see it.

"They are the best team in the world - they're tougher, better trained and more competitive than we are."

Perhaps England can learn a lesson. After all, Pinkney's Green have turned The Ashes into a bright future.

last updated: 10/05/07
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