Charlotte Edwards returned to her Huntingdonshire roots for a memorable night in the history of Bluntisham Cricket Club.

Charlotte Edwards at the opening of the nets in Bluntisham with Jessica Lawrence.Charlotte Edwards at the opening of the nets in Bluntisham with Jessica Lawrence.

The legendary former England Women captain, who grew up in Pidley and played her first cricket at Ramsey, was the star guest at a 20/20 match to officially open the club’s new nets at the Recreation Ground.

The £35,000 facility was made possible by a grant from the Mick George Community Fund and Edwards took time to coach local youngsters during her visit.

An Edwards and Mick George XI then beat hosts Bluntisham by eight wickets in a high-scoring game which attracted a large crowd. They saw Bluntisham’s 192-1 posting be bettered in 13.4 overs.

Toby Powell claimed the prized wicket of Edwards for 19 after previously seeing her caught off a no ball, but her dismissal didn’t affect a successful chase and it certainly didn’t stop her from leaving with a high opinion of the club.

“Good facilities are the basis of any good club,” Edwards told Ollie Slack. “Having two world-class nets just to the side of the pavilion, hopefully it will attract many youngsters from surrounding areas to Bluntisham and keep the club thriving over the next few years.

“I put a lot of my success down to club cricket. It’s where you begin, where you learn the game, and where you meet so many people.

“Without volunteers at clubs, without a facility like you’ve got here at Bluntisham, you can’t fall in love with cricket. Club cricket is so important to the growth of the game in this country.

“It looks like there is a great atmosphere around this club, a real community feel and I think that is really important.

“You have to create that kind of environment so people want to come down and watch, and want to get involved so the club keeps thriving and getting better.”

The grand opening proved to be such a success that Bluntisham has secured the necessary funding for the upkeep of the nets.