Credit: Cardiff Council

Cricket club to get new facilities months after attack by racist vandals

Members believe the move will be a major step forward for the wider Riverside community 

LLANDAFF Cricket Club is to get a new clubhouse and nets just three months after the building was vandalised by racists.

The club faced huge setbacks when members found swastikas and derogatory slurs covering the walls of the pavilion, and equipment damaged and stolen. 

The investment, secured by Cardiff Council, marks the start of a “dream becoming a reality” for members who vowed to bounce back. 

The money will also fund a padel tennis centre, resurfaced tennis courts, a café and a community centre for Riverside residents. 

Llandaff Cricket Club won the September 2022 Community Cup, just one month before the club became the victim of a racist attack

“This will be a massive step forward for the club and the wider community,” said Sohail Raud, chairman of Llandaff Cricket Club. 

“The facilities are currently below par, that’s just a fact, and I honestly think that was a major factor in why we were targeted in October,” he added. 

“When facilities are out of date and neglected, left unattended and underused, people think they can just go and do what they like there.” 

The racist attack also created a huge concern for the safety of members, who are predominantly from a South Asian background. 

“It was as if they’d broken into your own house, we felt violated,” Mr Raud told The Cardiffian

Shabina Khan and Ayesha Rauf, who discovered the attack, said that they felt vulnerable as Asian women and were too scared to go back to the clubhouse alone.

Llandaff Cricket Club’s neglected facilities were “smashed up” and left covered in racist graffiti and slurs. Credit: Llandaff Cricket Club

Llandaff Cricket Club hopes the improved facilities will ward off future vandals and increase their player numbers.

“We’re really pleased to see this development progress,” said Caro Wild, councillor for Riverside. “We’re delighted that after years of trying, the cricket club can finally start to put down some firm roots.

“The parks are for everyone in Cardiff, and to have such a diverse club in the heart of Llandaff fields is something we are very proud of.”

The plans laid out by Cardiff Council are to demolish the changing rooms and garages to provide space for a temporary clubhouse, secure storage and changing facilities with showers and toilets.

The council hopes to build a more permanent clubhouse in the future. 

Planning permission is also in place for a four-lane cricket net facility to be ready for the start of this summer’s season. 

“We are hopeful that 2023 will be the year we can finally provide the much-needed facilities our members deserve and have been crying out for,” said Adnan Haddadi, Llandaff Cricket club secretary.