MEMBERS of a cricket club worked through the night to get their clubhouse ready for a major tournament after it was ransacked in a burglary.

The would-be thieves caused about £700 of damage at Basildon and Pitsea Cricket Club, during a break-in in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Later that day, the team were due to take on the German International team in a European Division Two Twenty20 tournament, so staff and members rallied round to get the damage fixed so the match could go ahead.

Club chairman David Ayres said: “It was a really concerted effort by everyone at the club to get the place ready for the game.

“We have some brilliant staff and members and I would like to say a massive thank you to them.”

Police were called to the club in Mopsies Park, off Broadmayne, Basildon, at about 2.30am after the alarmwas activated.

When they arrived, they found the intruders had pulled a metal grate off one of the windows, smashed the glass and clambered in.

They used tools to try to break into the club’s bar, damaging a door.

Mr Ayres added: “They did not get in to the bar and it looks to us like the alarm spooked them.

“We have not had a full estimate on the damage yet, but think it will cost about £600-£700 to get everything repaired.”

The clubhouse was open late for a function the night before the burglary. Mr Ayres added: “We wondered if they were in the grounds, waiting for us to go home.

“The game was a big one for us and the place looked horrible after the break-in.

“But we were determined to get everything sorted and everyone pulled together to help.”

Despite their efforts however, Basildon lost twomatches against Germany.

Police are appealing for anyone with information about the breakin to contact them on 101.

Alternatively, people can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.