Wallingford CC are moving seven miles down the road to set their headquarters in Blewbury.

The club’s move away from the Hithercroft means that for the first time in 140 years there will be no organised cricket played in the town.

And former Wallingford CC chairman Ian Saunders said that if the club had not decided to move, it could have closed within two years.

“Players did not enjoy playing at the Hithercroft due to the low bounce of the pitch there, and due to the escalating costs, we might have struggled on for one more season, but not for much longer,” he said.

Current Wallingford chairman Shan Rahulan said the move came about because of improved facilities at Blewbury & Upton CC.

“Blewbury have built an excellent pavilion and have relaid their pitch,” he explained. “Several of our players play friendly matches for Blewbury on Sundays, so there are good relations betwen the clubs.”

The two clubs will keep their separate identites, with Wallingford, founded in 1872, having two teams in the Cherwell League and Blewbury playing on Sundays.

Derek Watson, a director of the Blewbury Village Community Interest Company, who operate the pavilion, said: “We think it’s a great move. We know a number of their players very well, and it helps fund the facilities for the rest of the community.”