A VOLUNTEER-RUN village cricket club has been targeted by vandals – while it remains closed to the public during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dinas Powys Cricket Club, which has existed for 130 years, discovered it three-foot cricket square had been deliberately damaged by fire on Thursday, May 14.

The community facility has been targeted previously, but on this occasion the absence of players had made it easier to access the site.

Dinas Powys Cricket Club secretary, Simon Hiscocks said: “We found out that someone had set a fire on Dinas Powys Common, right in the middle of the cricket square which is roped off.

“They've caused damage to an area roughly three foot square.

“It's clearly a deliberate act.

“You would have to cross the ropes around the square to get to this point, and everyone in the village knows that whilst this is "common" land, the cricket club play here and look after the pitch - and have been doing for over 130 years.

“Whether they were having a barbeque or just decided to set fire to the grass again we don't know.

“It's an irresponsible thing to be doing anyway - especially with the dry weather we've been having.

“We believe that whoever did this, did so in full knowledge of what they were doing.”

He added: “Dinas Powys Cricket Club is a small village club run entirely by a small band of dedicated volunteers.

“We are obviously not playing cricket at the moment due to the coronavirus situation with all cricket activity suspended currently until at least July 1.

“Nevertheless, as well as the irresponsible act and vandalism, we will now have to repair this when we can, at time, cost and effort.

“The club provides the opportunity for competitive and social cricket to people of all ages - including juniors - in the community and this act is just mindless and had we been playing might have prevented a match or training taking place.

“Unfortunately, it's also not the first time we've had problems.

“Last year someone drove a quad bike or similar all over the square.

“Being common land there's little that we can do to protect this other than roping the square off and relying on people's common sense to keep off the area.”

A South Wales Police spokesman confirmed force had received a report of damage to a cricket square at Dinas Powys cricket club.

He said: “The incident, which involved a fire being set on the square, happened on the evening of Wednesday, May 13.”

“Anyone with information is asked to call the police on 101 and quote incident 260 of 18th May.”