'Just not cricket' as thief steals in

PUBLISHED: 17:55 23 May 2008 | UPDATED: 22:15 26 October 2009

Smiles before theft is discovered: Skippers Ko Irie and Tim O’Gorman

Smiles before theft is discovered: Skippers Ko Irie and Tim O’Gorman

VALUABLES were looted from an unlocked changing room as Japan's national cricket team played a prestigious friendly. Seven players had possessions worth more than £1,000 stolen from their kit bags while they played at Knebworth Park Cricket Club last Tues

VALUABLES were looted from an unlocked changing room as Japan's national cricket team played a prestigious friendly.

Seven players had possessions worth more than £1,000 stolen from their kit bags while they played at Knebworth Park Cricket Club last Tuesday.

A thief is believed to have walked into an unlocked changing room between 2.10pm and 2.30pm at the Old Knebworth venue.

He made off with digital cameras, an iPod, mobile phones and a cricket bat.

World Cup.

The Japanese team were preparing for their World Cup qualifying tournament with a training match against an MCC side at the Park ground to gain valuable experience playing on a grass wicket.

All pitches are artificial in Japan and it was the first time the Park had hosted a national side.

Club chairman Mark Klimek said: "My first reaction was absolute devastation because we had a fantastic day and it was a prestigious occasion for the club.

"We are security conscious but the players were in and out of the changing rooms so they couldn't be locked.

"After it happened we tried to back track and see if anyone suspicious was around at the time.

"One of our members who came up to watch said he saw a guy walking up the lane. Unfortunately there's a small area you can squeeze in behind the clubhouse.

"It's so annoying that this happens in this day and age. It makes you realise how careful you have to be.

"The fact it was the first time the Park had hosted a national side made it worse. At the end of the day we did the presentation and the guys were very gracious and it didn't spoil the day, but from a club's point of view we were very upset."

He added: "Their cameras which were stolen had sentimental pics from their visit to Lord's which was particularly upsetting because although they will be able to replace their items, it's the memories that will be lost for ever."

Sgt Lee Jessup, who is investigating, urged anyone with information or who may have been offered these items for sale to get in touch.

Call police on 0845 33 00 222.


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