No ball! Safety fears threaten to hit cricket club for six

One of the country's oldest cricket clubs faces eviction over fears that passers-by could be hit by stray balls.

Lymington CC has played at the Hampshire town's picturesque sports ground for 175 years – but only recently have health and safety concerns been raised.

The town council has voted to move the club from the centre to the outskirts unless it erects a £50,000 net around the boundary – money the club say it cannot afford.

The complaints have come from the neighbouring tennis club which, at a mere 40 years old, is a relative newcomer.

Councillor Penny Jackman said: "The plain and frightening reality is cricket balls have been landing at great speed a matter of inches from unsuspecting people."

But her fellow councillor Paul Hickman complained: "We might as well ban cricket."

Luke Andrews, a member of the tennis club, admitted that there has yet to be an injury.