Pavilions locked up

Teams playing in the South Yorkshire Senior Cricket League have today been ordered to lock their changing rooms after an umpire’s car was stolen during a Doncaster match.

Police are linking the theft of valuables from players at the Bennetthorpe ground of Doncaster Town to similar offences at clubs in Sheffield and Bassetlaw.

The thief who sneaked into the changing rooms during last Saturday’s game stole sets of car keys and used one of them to drive away in a Mazda belonging to an umpire.

Although it was abandoned he has not yet got it back.

Stuart Granger, league chairman, said: “One can only imagine the problems this caused for the umpire, who lives some 20 miles away.

“He has still not been able to recover his vehicle which is awaiting police forensic examination.”

Two gold rings were among other possessions also stolen.

Mr Granger added: “Since this incident took place I have been made aware of several similar incidents which have occurred this season at cricket grounds in and around the South Yorkshire area. It is quite obvious that there is a team of individuals operating in this area and all clubs need to up the level of security and provide locking facilities for all changing room areas. Our league has just made it compulsory with immediate effect.”

A police spokesman said: “We are aware of a couple of similar incidents that have happened across Doncaster and we are linking them.”